Group Trail Ride with a Young Horse

By Patty Wilber

Well, after recalling that Penny was out in the mountains as a two year old, I figured Gette might as well start her group riding mountain career as a two year old, as well.

Three big things I consider when deciding whether to take a green horse out in a group are 1. The temperament of the horse. 2. Whether or not the group is supportive of the needs of a green horse. 3. The difficulty of the trail.

Gette takes most things in stride, and while the trail we had planned did have some steep sections, there were no cliffside or sloughy areas. I have ridden Gette on my rocky hill and ponied her alone and in groups, so I was confident she would be comfortable with the terrain and in a group of horses she did not know.  LT would not have gotten a nod for this ride at two.  In fact, while she packed some at three and four, I avoided group rides with her under saddle until she was five, and even then, she was not all that relaxed about things.  LT is an amazing horse, but at this stage in my life, I am happy with easy, like Gette!

This ride was with some of my regular riding partners who are used to and supportive of me and my green horses!

Patty S. picked us up on Wednesday and Gette loaded into Patty’s trailer readily. We unloaded at the 10k trail head in the Sandia mountains (20 minutes from my house), which is at 10,000 feet, and Gette stood tied to the trailer while we all got ready to ride, like it was something she had done many times.

Sure, I have hauled Gette to a variety of places, but her comfort level at the trailer was more a product of her basic temperament than any training.  I mean, picking on LT, again…LT went to a show on Sunday to help out with the cattle classes, and she did not stand quietly at the trailer after she did her job.  No, of course not.  She whined and complained, and she has been many more places than Gette!

On the trail, Gette liked to be within sight of the other horses, but did not need to be glued to anyone.  She did some bushwhacking and I rode through some of the off trail reroutes and lead her through some.  There were steep sections and our lead horse had a walking pace a little faster than what we had done before. I found out Gette has an uphill power walk and she is handy on steep downhills, as well, so she had no trouble keeping up!  She was good with her foot placement, and my favorite was a large log on a slope that we had to cross.  She looked and carefully picked her front foot way up, and confidently stepped over that log, cleanly, with all four feet.

My photos were not so grand, but there were some nice views!  In the fall, the aspen in this area will be spectacular!

Gette, August 2023, Ellis Trail, Sandia Mountains, NM. Photo snapped by Linda.

Gette, Sandia Mountains, 2023.

I had a paper map with me, and the trails are marked, so we did not get lost, but we made a bit of detour in our quest (failed) to find Osha Spring.  We did come to an old mine (for the mine, at the junction of Penasco and Osha, stay on Osha).  I poked around a little but it would be fun to go back and spend more time! The Osha Spring is on Penasco.  The last time I was there was a long time ago and there seemed to be a lot more vegetation this time.  My tracking program says we overshot the spring, but I wonder if we did not go far enough…no matter.  It was a fun adventure!

We found this near the mine.  It may be barite or selenite crystals…based on info from others, not my knowledge of geology. This rock was 10-12 inches in length, so too heavy to have Gette haul it home!

Gino (also two), owned by Christy, and Gette’s half brother, had his first trail ride (at the house) this week. He has had 12 days under saddle. We rode out alone, and he negotiated the steep railroad tie steps with no problems.  He is going to be another good horse bred by Heather McLevin!

Breast Cancer Chronicles.  I went in expecting to get an infusion Thursday, but since I decided to change drugs to combat neuropathy, we have to get insurance approval for the new regime.  My doc is going to try to get approval for an injectable form of the new drug so I could then have my port removed because I would not need any more infusions! Injections take five to 10 minutes instead of two hours of infusion! But, apparently they are expensive.  We shall see. I go back in the 31st for either a standard infusion or a shot, depending!

I was happy to skip dumping chemo drugs into my system since we are headed to Sweden next week! I am not sure if I will post a blog next week or not!

Happy Friday!



About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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2 Responses to Group Trail Ride with a Young Horse

  1. Lisa W. says:

    Sounds like a wonderful ride. And Gette is all grown up. That’s quite a challenging trail ride for a young horse. I’m glad you didn’t take the interesting rock home with you, so others could find and enjoy it, too. You know the saying, “Take only photos, Leave only footprints.”

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