A trail ride for Shadow! (AKA his 1st Ride!!)

This 8 year old, 15.3hh registered Appaloosa gelding is in rehabilitation as he gains weight lost due to EPSM. He will be started under saddle and available for adoption.

A trail ride for Shadow! (AKA his 1st Ride!!)

Postby Juliane on Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:36 pm

Yesterday a few of us went out on the trails. Jenny rode her greenbroke mare, Surprise, while Susan rode Jenny's amazing gelding, Skippy. I rode Ms. Dandy. Since there was room in the trailer, I figured this would be a good opportunity for Shadow to have a stress-free workout with the saddle, as I'd pony him along beside Dandy.

I hadn't really worked on ponying him before, but Dandy is a trooper when it comes to ponying green horses and really did a good job taking care of him, letting him know when he was too close, but waiting for him when he fell behind. Shadow ended up being an amazing horse to pony. He was very polite, though a few times I thought he was going to crawl right into the saddle with me! ROFL

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We headed out on the trails, with Dandy, Shadow & I in the lead. The trails were narrow, steep and rocky in places, though it was very beautiful!

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Susan expressed a desire to get on Shadow out there on the trails about an hour into our ride. I was nervous and wasn't sure it was the right time for Shadow's 1st ride. However, I felt like it might be ok if I continued to pony Shadow on Dandy. So, Susan mounted up on Shadow and we continued on our ride. Wow! He was SO good!

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When we got to our first water crossing, Shadow balked and didn't want to go through. So, Susan got off until we had crossed, then she got back on.

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We continued riding and crossed a few more water crossings, but when we took a mini-break at a deeper pool of water, Susan got on Dandy and ponied Shadow into the deeper water to help desensitize him to being in the water. He did pretty well, but after the 3rd or 4th time, he was about done with us! LOL

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After the fun in the water, Susan got back on Skippy and I ponied Shadow up to the lake. It was about 2 hours worth of riding. Man, talk about the most breathtaking scenery ever! Once at the lake, we tied up the horses and took a half hour break before heading back.

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After our break, we were eager to get back down the trail. It was getting dark and we had a good 3 hour ride ahead of us. Susan and I felt this might be a good time for Shadow to try being ridden solo. So, she mounted up and we headed out, sans a lead rope or being ponied! Shadow was mind boggling. He acted like a green horse who'd been in training for 30 days. He was amazing!!! We walked, trotted and cantered :shock: through the trails and crossed deep water creeks. He never gave Susan any big issues, other than occaisionally wanting to take shortcuts through the trail! Hehe! Susan rode him for the entire way back, which was 11 miles of trails. They were both amazing together!

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Shadow is doing well today - he didn't have any issues with tying up (like Dandy), though he is a bit foot sore today. He is barefoot and the trails were fairly rocky in areas. I may have to put shoes on him!
Feel the Spirit, Keep on Riding!
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Postby ponygril68 on Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:55 pm

sounds like he has come a long way in one day. way to go.
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Postby cutiepiepmu on Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:19 pm

Good for you! I have always been a big beliver that MILES were the best thing you could ever do for any green horse :)

Sara in WA
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Postby rodeo51 on Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:15 pm

what lake were you all at?
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Postby stardreams on Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:29 am

Shadow was remarkable on the trail. Everything he did before even heading out said he was well ready to climb on. I felt that it was a perfect time too since he was in the position of being secure in what he was doing. I watched him for a while as we were on the trail, his reactions to different things. He was solid. I couldn't wait!

Perfect, although, I did glance at the cliffs and jagged rocks and questioned what in the world I was doing a few times :P Shadow walked solid and secure, no baby wiggle worm steps. He climbed up and down the mountain and rocks with security. He did gain a great deal of confidence from Dandy, which was probably a large reason as to why he did so well. His brain started shutting down after playing in the water, a perfect time to let him go back to only being ponied and not having to think beyond where his feet were going and keeping up with speed walker - Dandy. Shadow had no time to think about being anything else but the job at hand. :lol:

On our way back from the lake, Shadow picked up his first trot. Very very smooth, rhythmic, and a 'pleasure' feel to it. We arrived at a creek where we were going to initially switch back and with Julie's ok, we chose to keep going. I wanted to hug him the first time he picked up the canter. Although flat and definitely not under himself yet, it was smooth.

As the trail ride went on, his confidence grew. He began understandinging how to slow down on que, to turn, to pick up the trot off of leg pressure without the backing of voice, the start of working off legs to move one direction or another.

Shadow is amazing!

It was pretty funny though, to see when he became insecure how if he could have he would have climbed right up in Julie's lap :P
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Postby kabri on Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:45 am

Wow, awesome job!!!! Sure wish I was in the market for a 3rd horse!!! Shadow looks fantastic!

Will you share where that trail is? The picture of the lake looks like there's a shark in it!!!!!!

oops... never mind, I saw the post on Dandy's thread.
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Postby myhorsefaith on Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:07 am

wow, I'm so proud of Shadow! awesome job!
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Postby Juliane on Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:22 am

It was the Waptus River Trail that led to the Waptus Lake near Salmon La Sac, about 10 miles northeast of Cle Elum, I think. It was an awesome trail! :)
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