Monday, May 26, 2014

Perfect weekend

This weekend Dan drove in to visit and I couldn't have asked for a better time. On Saturday morning Dan went out golfing with my Dad while I put in a few hours at the dog rescue. Then he helped me with barn chores that afternoon and proceeded to take me out to dinner at an amazing seafood restaurant where I had the best tuna ever!

On Sunday we drove down to Devon to see the big horse show down there (Devon is only about 55 minutes from my house but I haven't been there in probably ten years). Unfortunately our schedules didn't work out to allow us to see any of the big hunter/jumper competitions, which are my favorite, but we did get to do some shopping and sightseeing and watch a decent amount of the carriage competition. Plus it was a gorgeous day so it was nice just being able to spend some time outside.

We did get to see some of the jumpers practicing in the morning

Dan marveled at how the complex is nestled right in a neighborhood, which really is pretty cool. It's been around since the turn of the century and it still has all of it's old charm (and old money, of course).

Some of the show stables
Some show barns really go over the top with their decor
Spotted a super cute quad of minis as we drove away!
After the show we returned home, picked up my grandmother, and met up with my mom, dad and some friends for an early Memorial Day BBQ.

The festivities then continued this morning as Dan and my dad went out golfing get again (lucky guys) and my mom and I went to the barn to ride. :) She hasn't ridden all winter so we started inside on some of the training horses (who had just spent some quality time doing groundwork with Jan so they were pretty good) so that Mom could get the feel of western riding again and some of the cues we use.

Then it was off to the gelding field to collect Charlie and Colby. I was a little unsure what kind of horse we'd have with Colby. I remembered him being awesome before, and very easy to pick up and ride after having some time off, but he hasn't been ridden in two months and can be a bit of a pony sometimes. 

I needn't have worried, he was perfect. We started in ring first just to be safe and after some warm up I coaxed Mom to get up on Charlie and give him a try. Without hesitation she trotted and, with some minor encouragement, cantered him around the ring. She was a little taken away by how big his stride is but had nothing but nice things to say about his willingness and softness. I was so proud of how good he was for her :)

Yay Mom! Look at them go

Then we swapped horses again and it was off to the trails. We had one slight bobble in the beginning: cantering up a short hill something spooked both horses and Mom came off Colby. She was ok, but he took off galloping through the fields. After I made sure she wasn't hurt I took off after Colby. Charlie was soooo good. He was freaked out from whatever spooked the two of them (probably deer) and was spinning and jigging trying to figure out why Mom was on the ground and Colby was taking off across the field, but he didn't rear or buck or anything. He held himself together and waited to see what I would ask him to do. And when I asked him to canter (um, or gallop) back down the hill and toward the barn after Colby, he did it without any nastiness. 
Freshly mowed hay field, with scary deer lurking in the woods
We went galloping right over a creek bed, around a sharp turn and up between two paddocks full of horses and he took it all in stride. Luckily we hadn't gotten far in our ride so Charlie and I were able to quickly catch up to Colby back at the barn and he immediately slowed down as soon as I asked. It was pretty cute: once we found Colby Charlie started nickering really short and soft under his breath, as if to reassure him and say, "Hey, buddy. You ok? I'm here, we're all right." 

I met Mom with the horses halfway as she was walking back, we remounted, and we went on to have a wonderful long ride in the woods. Both horses were fantastic, no more issues (except for both of them refusing to walk across a very washed out portion of the trail which was full of muddy water, rocks and lots of frogs. I don't blame the horses for not wanting to cross that). We had a blast!!

There were some really beautiful trails
What a cutie
I am beyond proud of my handsome man for taking such good care of my mom and me :)

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