Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 – Long Ride Day at Willis Creek

Had a much better and safer ride today, doing our best to ride as many trails as possible today, since bad weather is supposed to be coming in and we may not have another chance. Under partly cloudy skies and much lighter winds, we headed east, following the lakeshore trail most of the way. We missed a trail somewhere, so we didn’t get quite as close to the lake shore as the map suggested, but that was fine, as all the terrain is pretty much the same out here, wide open with the just a few copses of trees. Hubby and I resumed a riding strategy that we used to do down in Florida, I would jog and he would trot past me about 15 feet before stopping, I’d keep jogging until I reached him, at which point Clio would start trotting ahead of us, until Hubby stopped her again. That way I can work the jitters out of Apollo and let Hubby do his own speed, he hates to hold Clio back. Apollo was much better today, he seemed to have gotten used to the smells, and with a lighter wind he was almost back to sanity. I went back to the snaffle rather than the hackamore today, just to be safer, and it helped. Once we got settled down using this strategy for a while, I eventually got brave enough to try some canter, and once when Apollo started to put his head down, I was quick to pull up and throw him off balance, and the settled back down to his canter. MUCH relieved that I was able to control him today! Took a nice long ride, and stopped at a little picnic area that had hitching rails and a picnic table where we ate our snack and rested a bit. Headed back to camp on the southeastern trail, so by the time we got back to camp, we had covered almost every trail except one, just as we had hoped. A much nicer and more relaxed day, great to have a ride with a more cooperative horse!

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