Monday, 18 June 2018

First Trail Ride - No Deaths Recorded!

Cisco went on his first trail ride on Saturday. And we didn't die. But he was not relaxed at all.

I went with a friend on her mare, Vienna, who was the dominant mare with Phantom and Cisco all winter, so Cisco was more than happy to follow her lead. By follow her I mean his nose was up her ass for most of the ride. Thankfully she is not of the bitchy mare type, so Cisco got to keep all of his teeth.
I remembered that I had Da Brim to put on my helmet.
The goal for the day was a fairly short ride at a walk. I was looking for boring. This was the first time that I had been on the trails on the neighbour's property. The trails are through the trees along a major river, and are only wide enough for one horse at a time. There were tons of mosquitoes - thankfully both of us were covered in bug spray, so there weren't too many landing.

Cisco is very much "I need an adult" when he gets worried. He wants to hide behind me and let me go first, so the way that he stuck behind Vienna for the ride through the trees is not surprising. He was pretty good about keeping to a walk, and we did our first hills up and down. Despite nothing overly exciting happening, he was in a full-on sweat due to nerves. I have no media because there was no way that I was taking a hand off the reins to fumble with my phone.
Dried sweaty neck after the groundwork.
Once we got out of the trees on the way back he was happy to walk a bit behind Vienna and not feel the need to rush to catch up to her. I decided that I would take him into the outdoor ring for a few minutes, partly to take him away from Vienna and let him know that life was not over since they weren't together, and also just to make him pay attention to me for a bit.
As you can see, not a very exciting or long path.
Didn't quite happen that way.

It started off well, and we walked to the far end of the ring. The neighbour was round penning a horse in their round pen, and the running horse set Cisco off. He let out a little "eeeeeee" whinny under his breath. And then he seemed to realize that Vienna wasn't within eyesight anymore. And he lost his brain for a bit. I mean, there were horses all along one side of the outdoor ring, so it wasn't like he was alone.

Stop and stare, "eeeeeee" whinny, think about taking off (but not actually do it), try to make a break for the gate, he didn't really know what to do. At one point he let out that loud snort/exhalation through his nose that all horse owner's know as a red flag that an explosion is imminent. I got him to walk a few more steps and hopped off to do a bit of groundwork, mostly of the pay attention to me type. He tuned in pretty quickly and I left him there.
I fly sprayed him out in the field and he followed me to the gate so I had to harass him.
We definitely have a lot of work ahead of us to make him feel brave and confident in new locations. I mean to take a friend up on her offer to bring him over to her place, which is only a few miles away, and I can use her round pen, arena, or go for a trail ride with her. Hopefully on my next week of vacation - which means I need to get him trailering within the next couple of weeks. So much to teach him that doesn't involve sitting on his back!


  1. Yay for a successful trail ride! Cinna's first few trail rides involved firmly anchoring her nose on her companion's butt too 😂

  2. yay for starting to get him out there and getting those miles!! it's always so funny to me how insecure horses can start out on the trails lol, but luckily they figure it out!!