First Trail Ride Of The Season

Our day finally arrived. And, we did it together. Jewels and I. It was our third ride in two weeks. Our third ride in almost two years. Jewels energy level was high. Her anticipation was captivating. I felt a calm come over me. I haven’t been in this much control of my fear in such a long time. In fact, I didn’t think about the fear of riding her at all. It was heavenly. This was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of how far Jewels and I’ve come since that fateful day. You know. Since my riding accident two summers ago. The very day, I thought I’d never ride again.

I invited a friend from work to come over. It was a beautiful day, yesterday. The weather was warm and slightly windy. The sun was high and bright. Bronte’s mount was Handsome. I chose him for his experience with novice riders. A wonderful trail mount. Solid as a rock. Jewels needed a buddy to lean on. A horse who’s been there, done that. Handsome was our man. We hooked up and loaded the horses up in the trailer and took off for “Great Trinity Forest Gateway and Horse Trails”. My young friend had never been on a trail ride away from the confines of a boarding facility. She was as excited as I was.

We arrived safely and unloaded the horses at the designated area for equestrian activity. Jewels was a little excited. Not as much as Handsome was. I was more shocked at his fuss level than hers. To be fair. He hadn’t been for a trailer ride in a while. I should have expected it. He hates the trailer. They both calmed down shortly after and we mounted up and took off. Jewels was in high energy mode. I never flinched. I rode her off like I’d been riding her all along. She set her stride and walked off. Before I knew it. I looked back and the other rider was about 10 lengths behind us. I had to slow down and let them catch up.

Jewels was surprisingly calm and level-headed. Her ears were pricked forward down the trail. She looked alert from side to side. I have to say. The only thing she balked from up to that point, was a long stretch of water and mud in the middle of the trail. She quickly lowered her head to take a look at it. She started to turn around, so I pulled her back around. With just a slight bump of my legs, she walked right through. My confidence level rose to a new high. Her confidence level must have risen to, because the next water crossing was a snap. She crossed without any hesitation. I was thrilled. The young woman and I rode an hour and half out. We took trails with steep inclines and dry creek crossings. The scenery was beautiful. All of this is with-in the city limits of Dallas county. Only ten minutes from my house.

On our way back, we took a different route than IMG_1760normal. I wanted to scout places for future adventures. I started to noticed a lot of rooting and pillaging of the ground. I knew it was hogs. Something I’d never seen out there before. At least not as noticeable on prior visits to the park. I certainly didn’t want to meet a pack of wild hogs on our ride. It’s unknown as to what my horses would do having to meet them face to face. Not to mention. They’re wild nasty little creatures. In my experience. Horses don’t like hogs. Half way back to the truck, while walking down a dirt road, Jewels jumped side-ways. It caught me off-balance somewhat and I managed to stick the saddle. It was a bag blowing from a limb at ground level. I had to laugh after the fact, because fear of her reaction was the furthest thing from my mind.

The entire day was a pleasure. I was accompanied by a nice young woman from work. The horses were easy-going and pleasant to ride. The weather was phenomenal. And, most of all. I had no fear of riding Jewels! I’m going to have to thank, Debi ofDebi Jones Performance Horses”¬†from Royce City, Texas. She helped me work through the fear of riding.

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"It's better to ride even if you get thrown, then to wind up just wishing you had." - Chris LeDoux.
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