Bill, Autobot and I had finally found time to try a short ride in the forest - Skeeter's first time 'out of town'. Autobot led out on Washoe, I followed on Ranger and Bill brought up the rear on Skeeter, so she was among friends and could watch how the "old pros" handled all the trail type obstacles. Skeeter can tend to get stuck sometimes. When she sees something that is new to her, she just stops and stares - then it is like she has forgotten how to move her feet - so it was a slow beginning. She does eventually remember that she should be moving. We hadn't planned on going very far; just enough to see how she would respond to all the new stimuli.
Of course, Ranger and I had to add our share of suspense. On the first downhill, Ranger's knees gave out and down we went. Occasionally that would happen with Bill, but Ranger would catch himself and pop back up. This time (maybe because of the downward slope) we went all the way down, with him rolling to the right and pinning my leg. He was able to right himself, so I checked him out and climbed back on. Of course, there was this huge new bruise inside my right knee. Poor boy seemed so embarrassed. Skeeter? Just stood there and watched; no spook in her.
Not too much farther it was becoming apparent that she was working too hard at staying calm, so we turned around and headed back home. She did a great job.
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A few days later, GunDiva came up and took her for her first official trail ride, completing what we call the 'short one-hour ride'.
Again, a few stuck places, a few places of not staying on the trail, but overall a very successful, complete ride.
She is handling some tough trail elements and learning to wear her boots.
She handled the switchback well and finished the circuit.
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Today, Autobot climbed aboard Skeeter and I rode Washoe.
The goal was again to complete the short one-hour ride. Many parts of it were much smoother and we found a couple new 'sticking places', but not the small creek crossing.
She is going to be a super trail horse.