Sunday we rode again, this time taking Dixie across 108 to Schooley Mill Park. Yes, we rode a green horse on her second ride across a hwy, down a road and in to a busy multi-purpose park...
Dixie did great. No hesitation at the traffic, the water crossings (her first!) the wooden bridge (her first) the tennis courts and kids playing (her..well, you get the idea).
We met dogs, other riders, a horse pulling a shiny new red endurance cart, went up and down hills, gaited a bit, did a brief canter, and through most of it Dixie led the way. We rode about 45 minutes, and Dixie came back with just as much bounce as she started with.
Tuesday night we rode again, but a shorter ride as it was very hot. We first took Dixie out alone, and found out she wasn't quite as brave when she was all alone. A riding lawnmower caused a jump, and she wasn't quite as forward. Then we rejoined the others and went on a brief ride, up the road and back through some twisty overgrown trails with muddy creek crossings. Again Dixie did very well. This time we put her in the center, instead of leading, and while she did crowd a bit, she accepted it fairly well.
She is continuing to stand well for mounting, and now for dismounting (the first one was exciting), is getting better about walking in a straight line and she looks for her after ride shower and cookie.
Progress! I'm no longer riding half-assed.
2 days ago