Saturday, April 17, 2010

Trip to Bartley Ranch & First Trail Ride

Today I took Ace to Bartley Ranch here in Reno, NV. We had been here once before but only stayed in the arena. The trails around the ranch are rather advanced for such a green horse, as they include three full sized bridges complete with rails and running water underneath, steep challenging terrain that tends to be strewn with rocks, brush, and other natural obsticals, curbs, bikers, dogs, joggers and more. The first part of our journey was over the first bridge. He walked up to it willingly and sniffed it before walking cautiously across. You can imagine my suprise since he had never been on anything like it before. We went over it a few times just to reinforce that it was safe before continueing on. Along the first part of the trail there is old farm equipment about every 2oft that is enclosed in a small fence. Many of the pieces are very large and scary looking, but he did really well. He stopped and looked at them, looked at them some more. He seemed to be trying to be figuring out if it was a threat or not. I just had to laugh quietly to my self. Most young horses in my experience tend to react not thing when confronted with new scary objects. But he acted like an old broke horse. He just sighed and walked past, although he still watched. After a few he decided he wanted to sniff one, so I encouraged him. It didn't take long before he was satisfied and moved on. I love riding mustangs for the simple fact of how trail smart they are. We got into a couple of sticky situations where on a domestic horse I would have probably gotten off and lead them through some tricky parts of the trail. But he just shifted his weight to his hind quarters and stepped gingerly over the slick shale like rocks. It's so nice riding a horse that pays attention to where his feet are. It was one of the most enjoyable trails rides I have ever had. He is so fun to ride, and he really thinks about his job. I could tell he was ecstatic to go on a 'field trip.' Good boy!

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