NJ has its share of open space and the Assunpink Preserve, just outside of the Hightstown/Allentown area is part of it. That's where the NJ Horse Park is located--in a small corner of the park--and where the Monmouth County Hunt rides. The Preserve is laced with horse trails.
Some 20 years ago, I boarded across from the park and used to ride there regularly. Yesterday, I would have been lost on the complex of trails. Things have changed SO much.
Jean and JJ at the end of the ride.
Regardless, Christine invited me to go riding with her husband Larry and her again. I would ride JJ. I did have some house cleaning to do, but I made short order of the bulk of it and joined them. The weather was perfect, the horses were wonderful and we had a great time. JJ and I seem to get along quite well, although he does like to take advantage of me now and then. Nothing serious, but he figures he knows a lot more about trail riding, seasoned endurance horse that he is, than I do as a prissy dressage princess.
I must admit, I do tend to be a little more tolerant of things than some riders might be, but I do "know my way around a saddle. " But JJ is not my horse so I'm a little reluctant to make my point when he, for instance, refuses to turn around in a sticky situation so we can go back up the trail we've just gone down only to find it blocked with a tree. Instead of being sympathetic to his problem in tight quarters with brush and briers on both sides, I had to listen to Chris's instructions to just kind of haul him around and give him a kick to tell him he had to do it. So I did, and he did, and we were fine. Not sure my more tempestuous TB's would have so graciously accepted my demands.
Other than that, all three horses seemed to have a good time along with us. Nordisk, Chris's youngster continues to prove a brave and promising endurance horse, although he does some cute little "spooks in place," at unexpected things along the trail--he's not too keen on coop jumps at the moment. Larry's Juan is a bold "let's go" kind of fellow, and JJ varies from "I want to be in front," to "Hey, let me go last, that way the monsters will eat everyone else first. I'll just mosey along back here until there's a reason to trot to catch up."
Needless to say, the "order of go," varies depending on which horse thinks being in the lead is his turn.
I needed the ride. My week was a bunch of stops and starts. Flat tire on the truck--one I had "repaired" back in August, that still wasn't. A broken front strut--part of the suspension--on the car, so I have to drive the truck. Have to wait on the car repair so I can get it done at school since commercial garage fees will cost me more money than I have. Scale purchased that didn't work---had to return it. Weather radio that didn't work--had to return it. New TV missing a part--had to return it. Cat toy that did not work--had to return it. And then brand new contact lenses that didn't work right. Called doctor to find out they had accidentally ordered the wrong prescription--have to return them
Truck tire is fixed. I will soon order parts for car. TV is now fine. Didn't try the new radio yet.
But best news is that the lawn tractor is back--the spindle on the mowing deck had completely broken off--and it cost less than half of what I expected to repair it.
Silver linings in the clouds. And the trail ride was the shining moment.