Harley and I made a breakthrough on Saturday. We finally got across the brook at Orris Falls. It did require me to dismount (something of an issue as he was all in a dither), but with a lead line and carrots we finally made it across. Most of the ride was a challenge. Poor Harley was afraid something was bound to jump out of the woods at him and insisted on trying to turn back. I wouldn't say he's barn sour as much as he is scared. But with constant leg, crop, and an insistent seat, he finally moved forward. We backed up and circled around at least 6 times, and once, I nearly gave up, but we did it--a completed ride on the lollipop loop. Too bad Callie Lou couldn't come too--she'd have liked the romp the in the woods.
Sunday, I hooked up with Michelle, the other boarder, and we took to the woods heading for Wells. She has shown us some great trails up there, but it's such a tangle in my head, it will be hard to remember them all. We rode for about an hour an a half with some nice spots for trotting and cantering. I think Harley really enjoyed the latter--I could feel that Thoroughbred blood coming to life! The thrill of the race! He's also afraid of being left behind, truth be told. Harley, you big chicken! Michelle's dog Dasher came along for the ride, streaking through the woods, sniffing around stone walls, and leaping downed trees. Next time John and I head up that way, Callie Lou will have to come too! She needs some new territory to explore and maybe if she's out front, she can boost Harley's confidence!
As John said, time in the irons is what I need to get my legs back. Sure enough, I was a bit sore Saturday night Sunday's ride loosened them up a bit, but it will take a lot of hours in the saddle.