I'm thinking of all the things I ask of my horse - to leave his herd and cozy pasture, haul my substantial self up and down mountains, be brave, and keep his head down when he wants to look all around for things that eat horses. Oh, and do weird things at Trail Trials. Does he enjoy any of this? I rather doubt it. Yet he keeps on trying and giving me what I ask of him. We have come so far together.
I'm no great rider and have to work for what seems to come naturally to folks who have grown up in pony clubs and riding groups. This is not a chore. It is what I love doing more than anything and if I had chosen where my spirit would land, I would have been born into a ranch family living high in the mountains.
We do some things a bit differently than when I started trail riding with Red a couple of years ago. No more treeless saddle. I ride in my Wintec Pro Dressage saddle with CAIR. It works well with Red's slightly swayed back and has the stability of a saddle tree.
No more bitless bridle. I'm still an advocate of going bitless, but have found the Myler bitting system most helpful in reminding Red to keep his head level. I can get off his face now. It really seems to have helped. We are still barefoot. Red was actually able to do several miles without boots this summer.
There is one thing that hasn't changed one little bit and never will. It is just as true now . . .
. . . as it was true back in the summer of 2008. I adore my horse and am so grateful that in my 5th decade on earth I have been able to fill my life with what I love most of all. Horses.
Red and I have come far and, Creator willing, have far to go. Thank you so much for stopping by to check in on our stories from the trail home.