Ahh Fall, cooler weather and shorter days. It’s the perfect time to watch the leaves change from the back of your horse on trails in areas in lower elevations as we say goodbye to summer and welcome its rusty cousin. 
 
To catch everyone up, this summer I finally found my trainer. He wants nothing more than for Pistol and me to love our job together. He says everything else will come easy if we enjoy what we are doing. We ride every week, and it’s my weekly dose of happy. The goal is to get Pistol (the bay mare in my bio picture) ready for Reined Cow Horse and Ranch Pleasure classes by next summer. It’s going amazingly well, and I’m learning tricks of the trade I’ve been searching for my whole life. But as the days grow shorter, I’m finding I don’t have as much time to work on my horsemanship and ride out on the trails I love so much. 

It’s so hard to choose between two loves! Thankfully, I didn’t have to. I just took my practice back out on the trail with me! We might work on coming into the bridle as we walk along, or we might two track across the trail, maybe back up in a half circle, and if we’re really lucky, find a cow just a little too close to the fence that we can play with. And by play with, I mean approach and observe.  You all might have guessed, these are “urban trails.” With the daylight waning, they’re all I’ve currently got. I used to train on the trail all the time, but my timing was off and all I was doing was annoying whatever horse I was riding. Now, it’s adding a whole new dimension to our rides. It is so exciting to grow as a team and have the confidence to do it without fences. It's a secure feeling knowing that my mare will be confident and flexible when I’m on a trail if a situation arises where I’ll need to use those tools.

She’s paying more attention to me and it seems like she’s enjoying our regular haunts a little more with a little more to think about!

Has anyone else incorporated training into their trail rides with success? I can’t wait to hear your stories!