So it has been two years with Nala! She came home with me March 1, 2015. She will be 13 this year in May. We went out on a nice beach ride with our horsey pal Reya and I realized we have come along way in two years.
Reya is a bit new to the beach and the changes in sand color, wave foam and unusual logs still give her a bit of a fright. Nala was like that the first few months on the beach, but now her main goal is forward progress and she ignores the beach challenges to keep moving!
Nala is very alert to her surroundings but also fairly brave. We met two ladies walking their dogs on the beach in separate meetings at Gearhart and they commented on how lovely it was to see Nala and how far she has come in her beach riding! Haha. So we have become the famous Galloping Girls of Gearhart! One lady (a horse owner herself) remarked how calm Nala was compared to our previous sightings and another commented how lovely she looks galloping. We went the beach way to the estuary so we did not do a full gallop, just a bit of a canter towards Seaside.
We are still using the new Myler snaffle (with hooks) and she did fairly well. I swapped out the bridle (headstall) and used my Eventa reins!
The mishaps were on the ride were mine. I got a new sheepskin fleece saddle pad and it is only fleece under the saddle and a regular square pad the rest of the way. I tightened my girth as I usually do to the 5th hole and rode off. Once on the beach we trotted and cantered to Del Rey to meet Reya and I found my pads were gone once I got there!! I lost them a block back and had to go retrieve them. I usually use a full fleece pad and I did not account for the closer contact! haha. Lucky my saddle stayed on with a loose girth! It was just hanging there!
So I had to re-saddle her on the beach and it was an event since she did not want to stand for me. This is what I need to work on. Getting her to stand and focus, for an animal that only wants to move it’s feet.
I did get her re-saddled and attached the keepers on the pad, remounted and rode off. But having to saddle a horse that is circling you is frustrating! So still room for improvement on the ground, but our riding bond is pretty good and she calmly walked out on the beach and through the trails of the Gearhart dunes, we even did a short tour through the streets.
On the way out from the barn the heard of elk was blocking our path in Pine Hearst and we had quite a time getting around them. Nala wanted to stop and stare at them and I wanted to move past quickly. But we made our way down to the beach and had our two year anniversary ride! If I had this ride when I first got her I would have been so pleased, but she would have cost 5X more… so the time and training has been worth it!
She is shedding out now, and still looks a bit thin to me, but I expect her to fill out more with the warmer weather. I still miss my old horse Foxy, but he has been gone over two years now and Nala is probably a braver ride on the beach at this point (especially solo), and 4″ shorter, so I can get on still as an old lady, Haha!
She also still needs work to be tied and left alone or tied when she is antsy. She has learned to pull loose of the blocked tie rings, so at this point I just have to tie her and let her pull.
So we have had rain the past few days, which we normally ride in ok, but this has a bit of high wind as well. Nala has her rain coat on!
And we are looking back at the cool pics from our Cannon Beach ride in January.
First two are of Nala and Me, third one is Reya and Andi! This is from a wildlife photographer we ran across as a happy accident, Nala was pretty wound up at the end of the ride and just wanted to head south! He will sell high quality prints of these images if you have any interest check out his facebook page!
So, today, Andi and I thought we could brave the storm and ride in a weather break… haha ….the hail got us for a bit… but then our ride went fine! 😉 Nala is a good sport! Reya thinks we are nuts!
We had a bit of sun!!!! So I went out for a solo ride. We just hit the beach, did some circle work and jumped a few logs.
Also trimmed the front feet and took a few Body Score shots.
Went on a beach ride with Andi and we got caught by another pro!
And Andi got me!
And a great video! https://www.facebook.com/andi.mcarthur/videos/10212529874472651/
My pics. We are so blessed to be able to ride on the beach! And have a day of nice weather!
After a week of rain we finally got in another ride. Out with the girls.
I switched back to the double jointed eggbutt with copper roller… I think she is more used to it, I am trying to keep her from bracing against the bit… I may try a Waterford to see how she does… But not today (3/19) since we are heading to Nehalem Bay State Park for the first time to ride the trails.