A glorious gallop
What a gorgeous autumn day Sunday was. Clouds were building up in the morning, and rain and wind arrived late in the afternoon. But as we pulled the horse trailers off U.S. Highway 50 on the bluffs above the Gunnison River, the sun broke through and the extra layers of clothing I'd brought, including a rain jacket, were unnecessary.
I took my little gelding Turk (by little, I mean 15.2 hands -- not tiny but not like the big jumpers and eventers). My friend Cricket brought her big mare, Aspen, and another friend, Jody, brought an Arabian-Paint cross called Joker. And my seven-month old Lab pup, Lila, came along to burn off some of that puppy energy.
Everyone was feeling good in the cool fall weather, and as soon as we got far enough away from the horse trailers and pavement, we broke into an eager trot.
I should note that I just started using my old jumping saddle on Turk. I've always used a western saddle on him until a few weeks ago, but I find that saddle hurts my back and my knees. The jumping saddle allows my legs to hang in a better position and move more freely when I need them to. Plus, it gives me better contact with my horse for using leg commands.
We warmed up, then had a nice easy gallop along the old Jeep roads in the area. This is all Bureau of Land Management property and open to the public. We had a little bit of difficult up and down through some rocky arroyos, but mostly it was easy and open trails, great for cantering and extended trotting.
We rode about two hours, and everyone was worn out and happy by the end.
It was a wonderful reminder of why we have horses.