This weekend I took Charlie on his first ever horse camping adventure. One of the other riders in our group was skeptical ("You brought a TB for a day long trail ride? Can he do that?"). Well let me tell you he was fabulous! We rode about 15 miles the first day (Charlie's longest ride ever), stopped for lunch in the middle of the forest and tied the horses to the trees, crossed countless creeks, picked our way around rocks and up and down muddy hills. He acted like a pro, I was so proud.
Everyone else in our crew had more of your typical "trail" horses (a mule, a Tennessee Walker, a Foxtrotter and a QH) so I think they just didn't expect something as tall and leggy as Charlie to be able to survive out there, but he did!
I was lucky enough to be able to borrow a flex-panel endurance saddle from one of my barn mates for the ride and it worked perfectly; Charlie wasn't sore at all. It wasn't my favorite to ride in - I prefer a true western saddle for trail rides - but it was loads better than riding in my jumping saddle for 6 hours would have been!
Here are some pictures:
|Jan has the most beautiful living quarters Sundowner trailer ever, we traveled in style|
|Where we going, Ma? Who's that horse?|
|Charlie's preferred way to ride, despite how uncomfortable it looks|
|All set up at the campsite|
|Time for a beer!|
|That's my tent, right next to Charlie :)|
|Friday night campfire and dogs|
|Two of our trail companions: Wrangler, the mule, and Cisco, the TWH (25 yrs old!)|
|Jan's horse, Randy, and Charlie sharing a snack during breaktime|
|Charlie's halter fashion statement|
|So we just left it around his neck and he was happy|
|Lunch time backdrop: reservoir with windmills|
|Charlie gaining confidence from a seasoned trail horse|
|Jan took this shot of Charlie leading the charge across one creek|
|Night 1: Whew! Exhausted!|
|Day 2: Switching gears to English tack|
|A beautiful sunny Sunday morning ride with Cisco and Cindy|
|I couldn't get enough of these ferns|
|View from the lookout on the top of the mountain|