As Jill met her mount for the ride, and offered an apple by way of introduction, she listened to the guide outline their plan. Jill really respected that her riding buddy of the day told her she would not be allowed to canter their first time out together. It was better safe than sorry... She also admired the whistle on her fellow rider's fanny pack and was glad to be instructed to bring her cell phone.
Jill was glad to need little instruction beyond that, despite the unique nature of the Paso Fino breed of horse. The saddle was so comfortable and the little horse so responsive! She was taught the aids and footfall of the Corto and Largo they'd been doing all around the fields and forests. Her buddy was an interesting woman and conversationalist as well as an actual peer in the saddle. What a delight!
They even road over concrete and wood like they do at shows so you can HEAR the horses gait - Jill was in love with horses you ride for their sound! What a blast. There seemed to be a never-ending myriad of trails through the conservation area.
After they had been riding together for hours, they came upon a bunch of apple trees and stuffed their pockets as well as snacked a bit. The next part of the journey started with entry into a big, big open field with obvious tree line. To her surprise, Jill was invited to canter all the way around, while her host trained her horse to wait and relax etc. It took forever! It was awesome! What a good horse. So fast and ready but not spooky, even in a strong canter alone around an open field! She couldn't get over it. So smooth too!
What a lovely ride. The whole thing. Jill just couldn't stop raving. As a LIFETIME horse enthusiast, one of the best rides of your life doesn't come around every day.
At one point they went into the lake, with their legs bent back as high as possible and let the horses walk up til the water was saddle high. Jill wanted to swim, but she didn't want wet pants for 3 hours after the ride, so she restrained her mount. Drag...
Her lovely guide and host told her about swimming the night before, barefoot, bikini'd and bareback by the light of the full moon. Can you imagine??? Jill wanted that kind of access and that kind of life so badly... maybe wishes would come true.