Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Lovely Ride with Lovely Bella

A Lovely Ride with Lovely Bella

I have a friend I made out on the trail.  Her name is Shari, and she has a lovely National Show Horse, Bella.  I rode with her on some evening rides, and we had a great time. Cole likes Bella, and I think she likes him.  Shari is a super nice person, too, which makes it all the better.

We wanted to try going on some weekend rides last summer, but she broke her shoulder which put her out of commission for a long time, so we were never able to do it.

Finally, one Sunday, she came riding down our driveway just as we were finishing up our morning chores.  She didn’t mind waiting while we saddled up.

This would be the first time that she would be riding with Ellen and Dante. As it turned out, it was the anniversary of the day she broke her shoulder, so she wanted to be extra careful on the ride.  We decided we would just stay at a walk.

It was a perfect July morning--not too hot and the bugs weren’t bad.  We got to see how Dante would do with a new horse.  He can be skittish when horses get too close or act up--even if he knows the horse.  We found out that Dante was going to be just fine with Bella.

Bella, being half Arabian, has a lot of energy, and can get excited on the trail.  Well, Cole and Dante go along so well with her, that she became very relaxed and was a joy to be around.  We were all thrilled by how good she was.  Anyone who rides with us always risks turning into a blog post.  We were laughing about how boring the blog would be.  It would be something like: the weather was great; the horses were too.

When we got to the second river crossing, we decided to cross on the ford.  It had rained the previous night, and the water was higher and muddy.  There are a lot of large rocks that have to be negotiate, and we really prefer to see them so we can thread through safely.

We asked how Bella was with traffic, since we have to share the ford with cars.  Shari said that the only thing that really bothers her is bikes.

Bella was in the lead, followed by Cole and then Dante.  No sooner did Bella step on the bridge part of the ford, when a group of bikes came speeding down the opposite lane toward us.  Bella’s head went up and she danced toward the edge of the ford facing the water.  Shari maintained control, and even though Bella was really scared, I could see her glancing back at Shari--looking for support.  Shari gave her the reassurance.  Cole and Dante weren’t afraid of the bikes, but they were worried about Bella’s behavior.  We just told our horses to stand, and they did.

Shari uses clicker training with her horse, but she didn’t have any treats with her. She wanted to let Bella know she appreciated her, so I told her I could give her some carrots.   Just as she was reaching over, her comes a motorcycle--then some more cars.  Bella was still afraid, but she listened.  At that point, Shari decided she was getting off the ford as fast as she could.  She trotted on to the other side, and we followed at a walk.  We were all relieved to get to the other side.

Ellen and i were both impressed with our own horses who behaved rather than added to the excitement.

We rode on to the end of the trail, turned around and found Kevin on the way back.  He was surprised to see Shari was with us, and we told him about the excitement on the ford.  He had bravely crossed the river, but he said he would cross the ford with us on the way home.

Once again, we let Bella go first.  All was quiet until we got to the end, and here came a motorcycle, then a bike, then a loud truck.  Ellen and I told our guys to halt and clicked them for good behavior.  I looked up ahead, and Bella was just standing quietly.  She must have learned the first time that Shari would take care of her.  We were all so proud of her!

We had a great time, and we plan to ride with Shari and Bella in the near future.  Hopefully, it will turn into a boring blog post.

1 comment:

Shari Cloud said...

What a great blog! I chuckled as I was reading.

Bella did absolutely wonderful that day. I, on the other hand was just a tad frazzled on the ford, seeing how it was the anniversary of my fall. But my Bella made sure that I was safe. See, Bella and I feed off each other and I think she knew I was a little tense.

Since I started her on the clicker training, Bella has turned out to be the best trail horse ever. Our relationship has improved and she is more than my best friend now. She's is truly my partner. We label our selves "ShariBella," a play on both of our names joined together. Her full name is Aribella.

I can't wait for our next encounter. Both Bella and I are looking forward to riding with Cole and Dante to Rocky River Stables. I think she has a crush on both of them!

Happy trails!