Didder and I had company today! We had so much fun, and the day was one of those gorgeous bright sunny winter days, perfect for getting out there on the back roads of Maine.
My niece Kara, a very outdoorsy camping-hiking sort of young mother, apparently has always wanted to ride, and the stars aligned just so for us to be able to get together. Because Kara is a beginner rider, we spent a lot of time tacking up, talking and getting to know our horses. AhD’s companion Alijah the Haflinger was very quiet, complacent and gentle during this time. Didder, meanwhile, was sniffing everything, being very nosey, picking up my heated corn bag with his teeth and flinging it around, and in general being his usual self. My Curly is just so much fun! He decided Kara’s glove was a toy, and he wanted to play tug of war with me. Good thing Kara can appreciate a horse’s sense of humor. Oh, and she LOVED his beautiful curly-ishious coat.
We mounted up and rode in the paddock. AhD was alert and responsive, and very happy about this outing. It felt so good to have company to ride with, too.
We walked and trotted along, with Didder in the lead. Kara’s husband Jason came by with their baby Bradley, and we took a few pictures. (Jason of “Jason’s Loop” fame, who has created three or four nice trails on his land behind our house)
The sun felt so good on our faces, and our moods couldn’t have been any better. Once we were about a mile up the road, I asked Kara to take Al ahead of us. WELL, you won’t see happy ears from Didder about THAT, but he was still well behaved. What a character!
On the way home, I practiced gaiting Didder down a long hill. He did quite well for not having done this in some time, and I am trying to get him back into it because I have a *new* horse contact who rides all over the place with her gaited Walkers, and we have been invited to join their group.
Back at the barn, I asked Kara if she would like to try Didder. She most certainly did, and he was VERY good for her, like I knew he would be. She has a very good spirit for horses, and AhD liked her. Kara was thrilled at the difference in the carriage and gaits, with AhD being much more forward and swingy than Al. Look at her beaming!
What a blast we all had today. Didder and I are looking forward to having Kara come over again.