Monday, October 14, 2013

Part 1 - American Tour Guide

My three rides over the weekend were amazing.  Each one different, each one enjoyable and fun.  My first ride on Friday evening, was full of Firsts for my two guests Sabrina and Leah.  Sabrina and Leah are from Switzerland and Germany respectively and are farm interns at my friend Terry's.  Their time here in the US is coming to a close, and the Lord blessed us with  beautiful weather for them to go on a real Maine trail ride.

Left to right: Leah on Nike, Sabrina on Al and I think you may recognize the last team.

 Here we are, all tacked up and ready to go.  Sabrina is very quiet and shy and "rode for two years a couple of years ago" on a Fjord, so we matched her up with AhD's buddy Al.  Leah is 6'2" tall, is outgoing and funny and has more riding experience than  Sabrina, so we put her on the Haflinger I have been training for Terry, Nike.

Happy Sabrina on Al
And we're off!  Happy girls!

Happy Leah on Nike
I took photos of each girl with this scene as the backdrop
I had so much fun being an American Tour Guide, as Donna calls me.

The girls thought the way I set up the camera to try to get a group photo out on the trail was comical.  I took quite a few pictures of them on their Haflingers, so they would have mementos of their delightful experience out in the woods and fields of my little area of the United States.

Sabrina and Al

Leah was ready for adventure and Sabrina was game, too, so we attempted cantering and nailed it! Al is not big on going fast, but he was obliging to Sabrina, and I knew from riding Nike that he is really "into" the canter when he gets the opportunity.  And then, my Curly...well, he doesn't really like being up front of a group, yet he claims the boss position in the pasture, so he was good to go being the leader as long as I kept my confidence.
Leah on Nike

This trail has two different stream crossings and even an opportunity for stream walking.  Another first for them!

Heading home, we passed by the pond again, and I knew all our ponies would be ready and willing to canter up the long hill towards my neighbor's house.  Nike cantered and then galloped, passing Ah-D, who thought, "What??!  That little upstart passing me?  I don't think so!" but he listened to me when I asked him to stay easy and let Nike go.  We didn't need a race!  I was happy for Leah, happy with AhD, and extremely happy that both AhD and Nike behaved.  My husband Dana and my brother-in-law Larry had been standing in our driveway (talking - they were talking the whole time we were riding, so over two hours) and got a good view of the whole proceedings.  Dana asked me afterwards about the ride, and when I got to the part about coming up through the Christmas tree farm at a canter, he interjected, "Yah, we saw Nike passing AhD."  He was smirking.  Kinda made me wish I had let my pony race.  Kinda...not really. (At least that day - more on that later; I get myself into trouble when I get Cowboying, and I shouldn't have let him get to me).

Back home, Terry had not yet arrived to pick up the girls, and we were fifteen minutes ahead of schedule.  I asked the girls if they would rather untack or ride some more?  Leah responded enthusiastically, "Ride!" So we did! We did one more loop around the trail that runs behind my house, got in a couple more short faster speeds, and arrived back at the barn just in time for Terry to be there with her camera phone.  Sweet!

~Susan and Ah-D the American Guides~



  1. How nice! Such a lovely weekend it was! Your hubby was talking for 2 hours? We should get our hubbys together. They sound so alike in that department! That's cute that the girls wanted to get that last 15 minutes of riding in, real cowgirls! I hope we're going to hear about the other 2 rides of your weekend!

    1. Oh, wait a minute. I should read the title! It says Part I, so there is a Part II and III!

  2. What a lovely ride and you still have so much coloUr!! : )
    So awesome that you were able to help these girls make such a keepsake kind of memory from their trip over!! You must have been proud of Nike for doing so well too!!! Wahoo!! Can't wait for the rest! : )


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