Is the Mother Ship still in orbit? I'd like to send flowers, or maybe a handwritten thank you note. Pluto's recently delivered Alien Brain is in full working order. Me likey.
It was chilly today, with wind gusts up to 35 mph. Just the wind would have been enough to make me call it off two years ago, but I have more faith in Pluto now. And he didn't let me down.
Tara was already hooking up the trailer when I got there, so I hustled and grabbed all my tack to throw in the trailer. Pluto thought I was up to something hinky and didn't want to be caught. Mystery didn't care, he knew I had cookies. So Mystery got a cookie and some scritchies, until a white nose interposed itself between us. Pluto hates it when somebody else gets the attention. Thus captured, he acquiesced and walked down to the trailer with me.. until he saw the big silver tarp somebody had put over their trailer. MAN he was not going past that. He just stood there gaping at it.% It took me and Tara and two crops tapping to get him limbered up enough to actually walk into Tara's trailer.
He and Timber were a little excited with the wind and whatnot, but when I lunged Pluto at the park he said "eh." So I got on and he was all "yeah, sure, you betcha, I do this all the time." SRSLY? Horse? You are a lying.. liar. I know for a fact you have never been to Greenbelt Park before, so there.
Anyway we rode around and it was fun. Cold, but fun. We had two teeny little incidents. A branch fell somewhere in the woods and we had a spontaneous gallop for a few strides until we reached the safe harbor of Timber's butt. Um. His butt-adjacent zone. %% What I'm saying is he felt much better being RIGHT BEHIND Timber for a little bit. Just in case that branch was going to sneak up and attack him.
About a mile later a holly branch scratched on the top of my helmet and Pluto had a little skitter but a holly branch doesn't really compare to a Giant Attack Branch of Unknown Dimension so it was over quickly.
Timber, BTW, settled quickly and acted like the distinguished gentleman that he is, despite Pluto's occasional scared forays into his butt-adjacent zone.
Pluto spent the whole time tripping over roots. I encouraged him to, I don't know, maybe look where he was going? But he was averse to that idea and instead kind of felt around with his toesies. It was an odd sensation. The only time I've felt it before was riding a blind horse. Since Pluto refused to look at the ground, that was effectively his condition. He got a good gander at everything else though.
We haven't done a lot of hill work, so I was happy for him to have some time to figure that out. The first few he went down, it felt like he was on his tiptoes. Which is not a fun way to go down a hill, for either of us. I am pretty sure that by the last hill, he figured out you have to bend your hocks a little. He might be sore tomorrow, as he isn't used to actually working or anything.
So, that was it. No major excitement, no bruises, and a safe return home. I call that a perfect trail ride.
PS If you're thinking of taking horses to ride at Greenbelt Park, call ahead first. There were no signs, but a park employee told us (fortunately after we were done) that horses weren't allowed. Despite the "horse trailer parking" sign and the "horses and pedestrians only" signs all along the trails. Apparently there is an unsafe condition somewhere. Perhaps they have an infestation of Attack Branches.
%What was he thinking? "Bad fashion decision! Bad!"
%%Walk-Gallop transitions are not something I have practiced recently.