I got to play wrangler, again, today. I took one of our guests out for a two hour ride. She had rented a horse from the Livery across the road; a big Belgian named ChiChi. ChiChi doesn't look to be in the best of shape; a little older, maybe, and sway-backed, but she was good natured and as we got underway she seemed to perk up a little. She realized this wasn't her normal poke along trail ride with a kid aboard. She soon accepted me as leader, being on the horse in front.
I can't call Washoe a lead horse; he hasn't quite figured out all the nuances yet for that job, but he does a good job of being in the lead. You see, a good lead trail horse will set the proper pace to keep spaces from developing between the following horses, and with the flick of an ear they can keep them all in line and behaving - in other words, keeping law and order - all without much guidance from their rider. This way, the wrangler can spend their time keeping an eye on all the inexperienced riders, and spouting proverb about all the surroundings. I did get to point out the Sleeping Indian, the Clarabelle Mine and the frog pond near Olive Ridge. We rode through the Aspens along Fox Creek and out around the rock mound where we can sometimes see Rocky Mt. Big Horn Sheep (but not today, darn).
Well, Washoe had built up a lot of excess energy in the pen this week, so I had to keep a strong eye on HIM, but he really did a great job of trying to be good. He took the lead in front of a very large horse he didn't know and stuck to his manners. We did about 3 hrs. worth of travelling in our 2 hr. ride. My rider did a super job of guiding her mount and staying balanced in the saddle. Washoe earned his "treat" of being allowed to eat grass when we got home, because he did not eat on the trail. My rider said she could smell and feel Fall in the air.