At the Starting Gate.

Minus the gate.  Also known as, "I brought my racehorse to a trail ride."  Or, "I derped." Or, "The Eventer lusts after logs."

The Eventer, OR and I met up at the barn yesterday at about nine.  It was a quick grab of our three bay OTTBs, cleaning and tacking up and we were on our way.  The Eventer's horse is a giant, somewhere around 17 hands, and has a monster stride.  She spent a lot of time weaving him around so we weren't terribly outpaced.

I took shit photos this time, for whatever reason.  Archie was pissed at not leading, but didn't have the gonads to bravely lead when in front.  So he had to practice being a big boy and working through his attitude in behind.

The first thing we encountered was a ditch with a little bit of water/mud.  The Eventer's horse crossed it without any issues, but OR's horse doesn't like water.  I took Archie over it in time for OR's horse to sproing into the air and land next to us.  It was slow-motion and tucked-knees adorable.

The next thing, which seems to be an issue every time, was crossing the main road.  There isn't heavy traffic, but the speed limit is 55 mph and there's a curve at one end.  It's also got ditches on either side and a creek running parallel to our trail and perpendicular to the road.  Anyways, it's a bitch.  OR dismounted for safety because her horse notoriously likes to play in the road.

After crossing the road, everything else was pretty much smooth sailing.  We walked out for about 45 minutes, going back over the wooden bridge, through the parking lot, up the wooden trail and into the recently developed neighborhood.  Archie walked with his eyes rolling, ears pinned, and a kink in his neck.  He seemed to hold some grudge that the Eventer's horse was in front of him and followed like a beacon - if her horse marched through the middle of a cannon-deep mud puddle, by god, Archie was going to, too.  His attitude only seemed to resolve when we reached the part of the route appropriate stuff other than walking.

Pissed off pony.
And we trotted.  Three deep, for most of it.  It was the first time that Archie's ears pricked and he did some more extensions to keeps up with the bigger horse.  Such a goober.

I love how Archie, on the right, has puffed himself up enough to look as big as the bigger horse.
After trotting a little ways, we walked some, turned around, and decided to canter.  Let me paint this scene for you:
The Eventer is in front of and to the right of me.  OR is directly in front of me.  The Eventer tells OR to go ahead and pick up the canter, which she does, and TE starts trotting.  This means that my horse is 1) in the rear and 2) the only one walking.  He promptly loses his shit and starts crow hopping sideways.  I realize that I can try to keep him back and just go when TE goes, which would probably result in more hopping, maybe some baby rears, and a heavy possibility of bucks.  Or I can just let him go.

So I do.

I don't think there were very many strides of canter before I was pulling on his face and he was accelerating to gallop.  I saw TE a little bit ahead of me and on the right and yelled to OR that I would be passing her on the left.  Her horse promptly bucked a few times before he realized that he was about to be taken over on both sides and started galloping.  We flew by them and I saw TE matching me on the right before Archie started pulling ahead and I yelled that I had no brakes.  He galloped out a little bit more before I was able to bring him back down to a walk.  Oh, the excitement.  I had to apologize for escalating what was supposed to be a little canter.

After that, Archie proceeded to do his fancy sideways prance for about a mile.  I felt that he was exhilarated to have "won" a race, but when TE's horse got in front of him again, he reverted to grumps.  Both TE and OR complimented his lateral moves - which I wasn't asking for - and the light, collected trot.  So we got video.

The rest of the ride was easy.  Archie resumed walking like a sane horse and had no other major snits.  When it came time to cross back over the ditch that gave us issues, we took it at a different part (that I've taken him over a ton of times when it's dry) and all three horses jumped it.  Archie actually jumped me out of the tack.  If I had been thinking clearly, I would have asked them to give me a lead over the swamp water that I still haven't gotten him successfully over.  Baby steps!

Much less grumpy after having "won".

After cleaning all of the horses and putting up all our crap, we turned them out.

Mud puddles!

TE had to head home, so OR and I got lunch together.  It was nice to have a conversation with another heterosexual, animal-loving woman.  Which means, we talked about cats and men.  Meow.

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  1. Arch's trail antics remind me soooo much of Carlos :) especially the "making big body" and "mexican hat dance"

  2. I like that one of the tags on this is "shit yeah".

  3. LOL Archie! He just couldn't contain himself :)

  4. Hahaha I love the repetitive rolling!

  5. Full speed ahead! ;) Glad you came away unscathed.

  6. I love all the pictures of Johnny's butt! My favorite one is the last one of his butt--we actually DID have a correct shoulder-in: left hind tracking into right fore!!!! (Okay, maybe were were a little off, but still!!!)

  7. Incidentally, here's the link to my blog (though you can delete this if you'd rather not have it in your comments):

  8. Haha- love that Archie was in a snit most of the time!

  9. Cats and men - the ultimate sign of good conversation. Love it. Also, I love that Archie still wants to be a racehorse. More gallops!