Can She Ride Without Tall Boots or Half Chaps?
Well, yes, of course she can. She does it all the time at home...but not for three hours!
Christina and her husband graciously added me to the clan for a trail ride up in the hills of western New Jersey--actually only about an hour from here.
First, in defense of my State. Many people think New Jersey is just Turnpike and industry. Not so. We have many beautiful, preserved acres of farms, woodlands, and amazingly beautiful land. Many of these places are" horse friendly" as Tewksbury was two weeks ago.
Today's ride at Horseshoe Park in Kingwood Township was no exception. Fields and wooded trails with some pretty formidable hills to challenge fitness and work ethic. It was about a mile longer than the Tewksbury ride and the terrain was much more difficult.
JJ, Nordisk, and Juan, all Arabians were definitely up to the challenge, although I'm pretty sure they were all tired at the end of the 10.2 mile ride. We did a ton of trotting today and Christine actually cantered Nordisk for the first time and several times thereafter. I was so proud of her, and she should be proud of the training she's given Nordisk and his wonderful attitude. He is a solid young horse with a super temperament and a brave attitude about facing new things on the trail.
There were many, many natural obstacles to overcome. Creek crossings with rocks and steep banks, and hill after hill. Some of these hills were really steep. We had to go both up and down, of course. I hate down, but JJ is very surefooted and confident in himself, so he was a great ride.
As noted, I'd left my half chaps in my car after we left the barn, so I rode just in breeches and my paddock boots. It was just fine although at first I felt a little less secure in my leg. But once I'd been in the saddle for a half hour or so, I was just fine.
I have to admit, I got a really good workout. But it's a lot of fun when you are on an experienced endurance horse who knows how to take care of himself and his rider.
By the by, the Ansur Excel is still a great trail saddle. Hill and dale, it just moves with the horse and allows me to ride in good balance.
I'll need a nice soak in a hot tub tonight, but it was worth it.