Both boys loaded up with their customary ease and unloaded just as pleasantly. Sydney still gets a bit tense backing out of the trailer, but he manages to get the job done. Tacking up was a bit wild and woolly as both boys were feeling fresh and excited to be working somewhere new.
Sydney kept nipping at my shoulders, something he does when he's feeling anxious. He doesn't use his teeth, but he likes to grab me with his lips. I just patted his neck and puttered around as if this was our every day routine. Speedy needs some TLC as I girth him up as he still panics when the girth is tightened. It's an ongoing issue, and one which I am managing, but it makes things a bit hectic when both boys need mothering at the same time.
Within no time though, both horses were saddled. We walked through the trail head fencing and got on at the bottom of the hill. Sydney was quite the looky-lou and his body was pretty tense, but he slowly released the tension and finished the ride completely on the buckle.
We rode through the trees along the river trying to stay in the shade as much as possible. I was so pleased with Sydney. He wanted to be in the front and managed to do most of the weird places all on his own. There were a few times that Speedy needed to go first, but as soon as Speedy offered a forward step, Sydney was right behind, bravery resurfacing.
We even rode through some very narrow trail that has a canopy of trees just over our heads. For a tense horse, the closed in aspect of the trail can be very claustrophobic, but Sydney took it in stride without a single mis-step. At the half way point, we got off to give the horses a quick break in the shade while Aberdeen checked out Rancho Rio's arenas.
We took a different trail back, and even let the horses pick up a canter over an undulating and winding trail. Speedy offered a few bucks, but Aberdeen just laughed through them and kept his head up. What I most appreciated about Sydney was that as soon as I asked for a return to walk, he was on the buckle without any need to hurry. In fact, we walked along a bit and then picked up another canter.