Today was a big day - it was the very first trail ride for Zeus!
That's right - our unpredictable, fiery youngster out and about, without the confines of fencing or the safety of the field, and on the road, no less.
And I have to say - I am so very proud of him.
Trails are tons of fun, when on a safe, dependable horse. They can also be terrifying if you're on a spooky or troubled horse, because the elements of the unknown run rampant on trail. Sometimes you come across a deer or squirrel that darts out in front of you, or cars on the road who think horses are just like bicycles so you can whiz past them. One house on our way to the trail barks at us - or, an over confident Jack Russell comes racing out of the backyard, barking and howling, much to the surprise of the horses.
However, with time and experience, a horse can be the most fun way to travel - a few moments of Zen, where it's just you, your horse, and Mother Nature.
Matt and I ventured out this morning. Matt was on Siggy, who has proven to be a rock solid trail mount - safe, dependable, and perfectly happy to amble along at his leisure. I was on The Giant Zeus - who was wired and ready for action.
I said before our ride that "I think Zeus will surprise us." So far, he's shown to be very brave under saddle. He proved me correct today - he led, the entire way. All of his senses were on high alert, but he was very confident to walk ahead of Siggy, despite the Unknown that lay before us.
On our way home, the scariest part of the trail happened to be at the end of a driveway, where two little kids, still in their pajamas, were hopping around waiting to "See the horsies!" They weren't clearly visible at first, so all Zeus could see were Spider Man and Sponge Bob aliens running little circles up ahead of him, lurking behind some trees. Even so, he looked, but remained steady.
Today was a great day. Next weekend, we hope to venture out again, and go just a bit further every time - and eventually, venture out on our own. Big strides like this - big, positive surges ahead in his progress - are so worthwhile and rewarding. That's my boy!