The next morning I met G Ima Starr FA's owner near Lancaster which is about the halfway point to Perris. Speedy G loaded with no fuss and trailered all the way home without a single sound. When I opened the door, he looked at me in surprise with a mouthful of hay. He unloaded quietly, walked into his stall, took a long drink of water, and dug into the hay that had been left in anticipation of his arrival.
I wasn't ready to ride a three year old. Instead of continuing Speedy's under saddle education, which I felt was a bit spotty, I spent four months working on his ground manners. I worked diligently on his saddling and bridling issues. Knowing how stressful it can be to saddle and bridle a horse in freezing, 40 mph winds in the desert darkness, I decided that we were going to be ready for any kind of endurance conditions. I also used the long lines for ground driving and worked on mounting from a stand still. My plan was to do ground work until Speedy's fourth birthday in April, but the little stinker needed a JOB, and fast. So in March, a month sooner than I had planned, I started working him under saddle, first in the round pen, then in the arena.
With the help of our barn's caretaker (center of the picture), Speedy started working on walking trail rides. Dario had a lovely mustang mare who proved to be a real Steady Edwina for a youngster. He graciously accompanied us on frequent trail rides. We trailered out to every local event we could find. Speedy's four year old year was spent camping and trail riding in both small groups and large. I knew that he would need those experiences if he was to be successful as an endurance horse.
Hover over picture for captions, and click pictures for links to locations.