If there is one thing that the Sierra Nevada excels at, it’s the abundance of beautiful amazing trails. For Labor Day, Krissie and I had planned on meeting an old friend from FTF, Susan, at a trail just across the boarder near Blue Lakes. Well, it didn’t quite start there as we had to go help load a very stubborn mustang mare in her trailer but I made quick work of that and we were out on the road.
It was my first time driving the trailer in the mountains and I was a bit nervous but everything went well. The truck handles the trailer well and the ponies were pretty well behaved. Every time I drive it I’m getting a little better at estimating the right distance to stop before a sign and knowing the correct speed to handle curves. The backing is still a major hurdle but I’m getting better!
We pulled into a meadow off Blue Lakes road and got ready.
This was a big test for Guinness who was going to experience his first trail ride since getting back from the trainer. I was really hoping he’d behave so we wouldn’t have to go back to the trainer’s tomorrow. No worries there as Guinness did great! For the most part he played with Sapphire while we tacked up the horses but every time I called him, Guinness came running back and he sat patiently while I got on Dandy.
Not to mention he carried all of his own equipment. Good puppy!
The ride was absolutely beautiful! The mountains in the back ground and a beautiful golden field in front of us… I was in heaven.
We meandered a good part of the trail until we got into the woods. One of the goals for the day was to work on water crossings, though we had to go off trail to get to the stream. Klancie was an old pro. Dandy needed some convincing in the beginning but was walking in just fine by the end of the day. Susan’s mare, Beauty, however was having none of it. While we did eventually get Beauty to do every water crossing that she was afraid of, it took a lot of convincing. Susan did great on sticking with it and not letting Beauty get away with anything.
Guinness behaved the entire time and I was so proud of him! He stuck near the horses, but not too near! Came when called and would sit and wait if I asked him to. When we were passed by a second group of horses and dogs, Guinness stayed and didn’t even think about barking. Sapphire wasn’t so good but she is still just a puppy! She did bark and run off after the other group but otherwise she stuck around and didn’t get in the way of the horses. I think both dogs had a great time. Though they were pretty tired at the end.
But by far the best part about the trail were all the perfectly placed, and sized, logs for jumping! Dandy was so so good. He went over everything I asked of him without looking, ducking or even thinking about not doing it. The ground was much rougher than anything he’d face in a cross country track so I’m starting to get really excited to get him over some real jumps.
I also can’t thank Susan and Krissie enough for taking videos of us!
The first spot I found to jump was this perfect 18 in log. I went over it and immediately there was a second, smaller, log just a simple bend away! So we went over that too and when we came around back to the group there was a little stream that Dandy of course had to jump. I went through that loop a handful of times until Dandy was cantering through the stream instead of jumping it.
Krissie even tried both logs and Susan did the smaller of the two. I think even the horses were having fun. The best part is that the dogs followed us! It was pretty cute to see.
The second really good spot was just a single log but it was a bit bigger and the foliage around the take off and landing made it a bit trickier. Dandy didn’t care.
I think I have my eventing horse!