Chance went for his first trail ride as a SAFE horse today, accompanied by Kat. Chance has a lot of experience as a trail horse but it’s been a little while since he’s been out in the woods, so he started his journey into the Redmond Watershed by doing a fair amount of jigging, but after about 5 minutes, he settled down and started walking in a relaxed manner and kept his cool for the rest of the ride. The trails at Redmond Watershed have bridges that cross the creek in several places, and Chance was completely unfazed by these, crossing every single bridge without concern. He displayed the same bravery towards the various park benches, gravel piles, and fallen logs that he passed. Kat, on the other hand, had a few moments of over-reaction to some of these harmless obstacles, but once she saw that Chance was unimpressed with her antics, she too settled down and took everything in stride. All in all it was a successful day for both horses.

On the ride, I had the opportunity to ask Brittney how Chance has been doing in his training rides, and she says she’s been enjoying riding him so far. He does have a pretty bouncy trot, but she says that as he’s been regaining fitness, his trot has gotten easier to sit. His canter is still a bit of an adventure to ride, but it’s coming along pretty well too. He’s well-behaved under saddle, and does a pretty good job focusing on his work.

As we’ve mentioned before, Chance has a pretty severe case of ear plaque which makes it pretty painful to have his ears touched, and he’s gets pretty worried that someone is going to forget. Brittney deals with this by unbuckling most of his bridle so she can put it on without having to touch his ears. She was a little worried about doing this at the trailhead, but he was a good boy about it so it wasn’t really a problem. He’s a really sweet horse who doesn’t ask for much, so we try to accomodate this quirk of his in a positive manner.

Here’s a quick video from the trail ride, with delightful narration from Brittney: