Gateway fun day 2

So yesterday I took Kiko out on our second ride on the Gateway trail.

This time we had our friends Kelly and Coco along for the ride. It was a beautiful night and Kiko was in a mood. We started out at a crawl until we finally had to pick up some of our saddle leathers and the horses realized they could be used as makeshift crops….well after about two minutes of that, we didn’t need them again. The horses found the proper motivation to keep moving.

Then Kiko decided if he couldn’t eat then he really wanted to be moving so we did a lot of trot walk transitions….and complete stops. THAT was fun.

Soon that wasn’t enough, he wanted to “accidently” run Coco off the trail…this is one of his go to moves when he’s not real interested in anything else around him and is getting bored. So I wouldn’t let him do that and he was irritated. I could tell by the one hard tail swish I got every time I told him he couldn’t railroad her off the trail.

Very shortly after that he decided it was more fun to freak out at everyone coming up behind us. Especially when they were coming fast on bikes or rollerblades. He was almost laughing at me while dropping strait down like a dog wanting to play. Oooh he was having fun. I could tell he wasn’t really scared, but was having a blast occupying his time by toying with me.

Yes, sometimes it gets annoying and I tell him to knock it off but generally I like to leave the lines of communication open with him and I think it’s funny. He’s a goofball, he loves to play…this is how he treats other horses so I think it’s kinda cool he want’s to have fun with me. When it counts, if I tell him to stop he does. So I’m not worried about him having fun on the trail, that’s what it’s all about right? So I’m not the ONLY one having fun on the trail. I don’t see this as a crime, I encourage his personality coming out and I feel honored he feels safe enough to be himself around me.

At one point he did get worried. We decided to canter in a nice spot but there were two people on rollerblades with ski poles coming up behind us, so the whole time we were cantering he’s looking backwards, first over one shoulder, then the other, then he’d switch again, the whole time me squealing as he’s squirming doing flying lead changes. I was laughing the whole time. I also thought it was ironic because my trainer’s horse did the same thing one clinic we attended together, her horse was doing flying lead changes because he didn’t want to go strait so he was squirming to get out of it….I said to myself Wow! That looks so fun to ride. Well now I know what she was feeling….and why she was laughing. He was really afraid, he thought they were going to eat him but he handles his fear so well that as soon as they passed he was fine and continued cantering.

We arrived at a tunnel Coco was ahead of us and she stops and snorts at a dead mouse laying right at the mouth of the tunnel. Kiko and I went thru one just like this the other day just fine so I take front and we gingerly make our way thru the tunnel. This was our turning back spot for the day since the sun was starting to go down so after viewing the map we went back thru the tunnel, again with Coco in the front. Suddenly Coco Stops, snorts and backs up, first into Kiko’s chest then into my leg which I had to lift up in order to not get pulled out of my saddle. I can hear Kelly behind me “Oh great, your going to go retarded again over the tunnel.” She explained to me that Coco sometimes has a problem getting close to the walls for some reason. I was like well she only has one eye, it’s probably really scary for her! LOL The poor girl. We go ahead of them again and because of Coco’s reaction Kiko thought the tunnel was extra scary now so we Tip toe thru arching the neck and snorting but make it alright. Coco and Kelly stayed in the tunnel until Coco relaxed a bit, sniffed the wall and was able to walk out calmly. I learn so much from those two!

On the way back, Kiko knew it meant going home so he wanted to trot most of the time. My knee was killing me after a while so posting was becoming clumsy and my ass was so sore from two days ago that sitting the trot was almost impossible too. So we ended up in a half sit, half post trot with my hand pushing up on my saddle to lift me UP. I was sure it was throwing him off balance but he didn’t seem to have any problems dealing with my sprawling gimpyness on top of him.

We went up a hill and all of a sudden I was being tossed out of my saddle into the air in this trot I have never felt from him before. Giggling I asked Kelly, what the hell was that? She said “Wow, that was really climby, very spanish looking!” I didn’t even know he COULD trot like that. She also said he was very underneith himself the whole time, his back foot tracking at least a hoof and a half beyond his front. I said “YEAH! That’s what I’ve been trying to work on the whole time I’ve had him!” When I first got him he was so front end heavy, undertracked and didn’t seem to utilize his extreamly strong hindquarters when working with a human. To know that we changed this for him made me really happy.

Even though we are both out of shape for long trails yet this season he did very well and still had a ton of pep at the end of the trail. He went into this beautiful jog then a very smooth canter, Oh it was lovely, then he decided he wanted to jump a tiny stick just for the hell of it…he was having so much fun! We got to the gravel road and cantered up to the barn.

I have such a hard time describing how much I love this horse and how perfect I feel that he is. He’s as scatter brained, air headed, can get bored, fun loving, adventurous, irrational but at the same time as logical thinking as I am but for some reason we work as good together as peanut butter and jelly. When I’m being stupid he pulls me out of it, when he’s doing it, I do the same…we litterally work together. He is the perfect partner for me. It was fate we ended up together. For some, he would be too much, for others he’d be a horse they needed to whip into shape and he would hate them but for us, the match is perfect.

I can’t wait for the next trail ride. I say that every time and every time I mean it.


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