This morning we went on Louie's first official "trail ride." If you have been following his blog, you may remember that he had been to a field trial a year and a half ago, but no true, real trail rides, so I was a little anxious to see how he would do. My husband and I brought Jackson, our 4-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse, and Louie over to Lake Elmo Park Reserve, about a half hour from home.
We were actually celebrating an anniversary, as 5 years ago yesterday is the day that Bjorn proposed to me, while on a trail ride in this very park. At that time we were riding my old Saddlebred gelding, Social, and our other Walking horse, Cash, so it was an anniversary to share with a new horse of each breed. Below is a photo from that ride 5 years ago, taken right after the proposal.
Below, Louie and I approaching the exact location where Bjorn and I got engaged.
Below is one last picture of Social, from our ride 5 years ago, heading home on the trail after a wonderful ride.
So back to today, I decided to try riding Louie in Jackson's western saddle, as it was a little bit more geared for trail riding than my show saddle, and Bjorn rode Jackson in Cash's saddle, which is actually starting to fit Jackson pretty well now that he has gained some weight. Jackson's saddle also fit Louie decently too. Not as well as his show saddle, but to ride in for a few hours, it was just fine.
A beautiful perspective- through the ears of a Saddlebred.
We set out down the trail, enjoying the fall colors and encounters with squirrels, bicyclists, benches, dogs, and of course other horseback riders. At one point we came to one of the largest trees I have seen in this area, it even made Louie look small! Grey Horse, this one is for you!
We were able to snap a few photos more along the way. The trail meandered in and out of the woods, up and down hills, by corn fields, old buildings, and around the lake.
We just did a short 5 or 6 miles, but we rode for about an hour and a half, and had a really good time.
Both horses were SUPER well behaved, and Louie was a rock star on the trail! He flat walked the whole time, was the brave one to pass scary objects like benches, culverts, and bicyclists, and we even cantered one little stretch down a straight away. He was really a good boy and I think he had fun, I know Bjorn and I did!
Jackson was also very well behaved, he is usually my field trail horse, but we're trying to get Bjorn to be more comfortable with him so that either one of us can ride him in trials.
Bjorn focusing on riding Jackson, and how to operate two hands on the reins
Jackson has a pretty fast walk with his huge overstride, so Louie and I spent a lot of time looking at the world from this view.
On the way home, we ran into Michelle and Princess, a friend of ours from Louie's barn, blazing the trail on her way out. Here are Louie and I, stopping to overlook a part of the lake on our way back home.
Eventually we arrived back at the trailer, though I could have ridden a few more hours. Louie and Jackson stood nicely at the trailer, hardly tired from their short, but refreshing ride. The horses had a nice time getting out to stretch their legs on a beautiful Saturday morning, and Bjorn and I had fun remembering our first ride in this park, 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome to my blog! Meet my horse Ro & Me's Master of Illusion or "Louie" as we call him. He is an 8-year-old American Saddlebred gelding sired by Trust Fund and out of Everything in Return by Royal Return. Louie was an exciting new addition to the family in October of 2008 and shows tons of potential both in the show ring and out. His friendly personality, curiosity and remarkable intelligence are characteristic of his breed. This blog will follow Louie through his daily life and training as he learns what it means to be a Saddlebred pleasure horse.