Hunter Pace 2.0

I ran 44km between Thursday and Saturday. Then I took a train to Toronto that landed just after midnight. About 5 hours of sleep later I got myself out of bed and got to the barn as fast as I could. I hadn’t seen Cisco is almost a week! And today was hunter pace day.

Nicole and I, 2 parts of the three musketeers from last time, had found another hunter pace to get our bums too. Last time was so much fun we had to do it again. And ASAP. Our fearless leader Angel and her person, Kate, were unable to join us but that’s ok, our other friend Ashley was looking for a low key opportunity to go off property and Adventure with the one and only Tony. So we brought them along.

Caledon Riding Club is in the picturesque, postcard worthy town of Terra Cotta, Ontario. They host Caledon Horse Trials a few times a year and I had been there to groom for other friends enough times over the last few years I knew this would be a great venue.

So off we set. All 3 marched on the trailer and we all agreed it was a little chilly, not cool Mother Nature, we’re not ready for this. Our fearless coach and trailer-er, Shannon, got us there in one piece after the map took us a bit of a ridiculous hilly route.

We checked in, tacked up and warmed ourselves up in the process and took an obligatory “before” photo, we made our way to the stadium ring armed with directions and a brief description of each check point we had to pass.

Before we set off. Something very interesting was going on to our left but Tony made a face before checking it out.

After our last outting and at home jump schooling I had asked Shannon for a bit more braking power for Cisco. We bumped up the bit just a tiny bit and it worked wonders. We set off at a walk and quickly found our trot. It took us through a bit of the cross country field to a wooded area which led our to the road where we went down to the next property and wound our way through some more gorgeous trails that included some tiny jumps. Yaaaaay! Tiny jumps for me! We popped over and all the ponies were loving life!! About every 10 minutes I would say to Ashley and Nicole, “Oh my god guys!! This is so much fun!” And what more can you ask for time with horses and friend?

A bit of hills, a wander around a lovely property on the other side of the road and a brisk trot down the road. Our next check point marker commented that it was lovely to see us moving like that and the clip clip was pretty cool too. We got to canter a bit more than last time, the footing and terrain (not to mention my new bit) was much more welcoming to canter. At one point Tony busted out his racing trot (he is NOT a Standardbred) and Odie and Cisco cantered to keep up.

Just some stunning trails, Tony and Ashely bravely leading the way.

One section where we were walking past some stunning horses in their field we continued our tradition and picked a few apples to feed to the ponies. Speaking of snacks, it didn’t take Tony 5 minutes into the ride before he realized he could snack and hack. The world is his salad!!! And that is why I call him Fat Tony after the Simpsons mob boss.

Sanctioned snack time for Tony.

Then there was a trip while we were cantering and Cisco ended up cross cantering and I lost a stirrup but she refused to stop til we caught up to her friend, awkwardly cantering side to side while I yelled at them to stop. Oh so much fun. But I stayed in and it didn’t phase me!!!! That alone was worth the price of admission in my nerves department.

Lucky our post ride photo is 3 happy ponies. None are the worse for wear and I know Cisco still has a lot of go left in her!!

So many stunning views. From fields to paddocks to forested trails, to dirt roads for trotting.
Just us 3 on a country road.

Finally we came to the last field where Nicole and Odie took a few bigger jumps and Cisco and I went for a trip through the water. Ashley and Tony basked in their accomplishment of making such a successful off property debut. They were stars!! We crossed the finish line and headed back out to jump a few more jumps. I let Odie and Nicole go over the not-so-tiny jumps while I went through the water and jumped up the bank.

The Caledon Riding Club put on a lovely lunch spread afterwards. The wine went down a treat and the roast beef hit the spot considering an hour into our ride we were all lamenting how hungry we were! The clubhouse has picture of fox hunting and had such a cozy feel if we all weren’t so tired we would have stayed much longer and made ourselves at home.

Final outcome was we were about 20 minutes too slow. Optimum time was 1:30:30 and we finished at 1:48 something. But it was so much fun!! A rosette would have been nice but we have some fun pictures and memories that will last forever.

We made it! Post ride glow all around! I think we’re pretty cute. Big shout out to Shannon for spending her Sunday with us!!

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