Loose & Happy


Tuesday, August 04, 2020

I rode Sunni and she for the first time wore a bitless bridle. For anyone unfamiliar with bitless bridles, they’re like having the horse in a simple halter. The difference is that a bitless bridle has rings to accommodate ordinary reins. For a horse, generally easygoing and cooperative, a bitless bridle is comfortable, allows for grazing, and is easy to put on and take off. It’s important to know, however, that if a horse decides to take off–I’m saying, really get going like BOOM–a rider can’t do much to stop that action.

Sunni is a kind horse and that bridle made just one noticeable difference–more “discussions” about whether she could stop and graze. I found that her neck is strong enough to ignore some of my tuggings, but she didn’t always win. Anyway, Sunni is good natured, willing to stop only briefly before moving ahead.

She’s so easy and trustworthy, we went places I’ve been hesitating to explore. We bushwacked through a slight break in a large lava ridge and managed to cross over.

Inside ridge

On the other side, we chose a route through low ground foliage to work our way over to a road that I’d never before seen. We followed it in a direction that took us farther away from the trailhead and somewhere I noticed, to our left and heading into another large ridge, a well-beaten horse path–exactly the sort of pathway I enjoy finding.

That path meandered through the ridge and wove around numerous rocky outpoints.

Resting Ranger

The trail was about a mile long, an easy, pretty ride ending at another road, this one seemed familiar. We we turned toward the trailhead but I couldn’t resist the ridge, and soon we shifted, rode across it again, quickly finding ourselves up high among rocks.

Nothing seemed scary. We worked our way over and onto the worn trail that had brought us there, and on it journeyed back to that first unrecognizable road.

My inclination was to follow its general direction toward the trailhead, but Sunni kept trying to move us into flat, forested lands. We’d be bushwacking across and nothing looked familiar. I didn’t much trust Sunni’s sense of direction, but it was early afternoon with yet enough daylight to backtrack if needed.

Sunni strolled and ate her way through the grasslands and among trees for about a mile. She exactly was on target. We emerged on a road where on a hill above stood an adobe house–a key marker that signals the nearby trailhead.

That fun ride accomplished much: (1) introduced a bitless bridle, (2) discovered ridge crossings (3) found an established horse trail, (4) invited cross-country riding, and (5) confirmed Sunni’s accurate sense of direction.

Besides, the day was fine in all ways, like that beautiful sky.

Dear Friends: Today, we’ll do it again, and now joined by Anna riding Rosie. Diana

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