Hey E and B,
What a great day Saturday – great weather, food, horses and, especially, friends.
I have to admit that I was a little nervous before we started out just because it was Cortableau’s first time out in the big world and he’d only been off the track for a month. That plus my having started riding “later in life” made for a few butterflies. But “Cor” did beautifully. He danced around a little at first, I’m sure because of me, but once we got going, he was fine.
He handled being in an unfamiliar place, new horses and different terrain with no problem. We actually had our first canter ever a few minutes into the ride, and we did a couple of canters up hills. So I got braver and, when we got to the really big field, we cantered again.
Wait, that’s not quite accurate. I’m thinking canter; he’s looking at that wide open space and thinking “we can go faster than that!”. And he did. We galloped all way to the end of the field where he slowed up and said, “That was fun”.
Then we came to the gully with the rocks (not a typical track feature). He looked at it then walked down and up right through it.
When we passed the steeplechase track, he looked over at it and hesitated. I assured him that those days are over!
When we got back, we hosed him off and walked him, then he stood tied to the trailer very calmly while we had our picnic. Cortableau is an absolute gem – calm, polite, easygoing. Several people commented on his behavior (and looks!) and were impressed with him being so recently off the track. I always direct people to Bits & Bytes Farm if they want to find the perfect horse for them. I can really vouch for this since you guys have done so for me many times.
Looking forward to next time!
Cortableau at the hunter pace photo gallery.