Well I got out and rode yesterday.
Got some new stirrup "leathers" (in quotations because they're synthetic) - my old ones will now become my backup ones - I'd stretched one of them longer than the other, and uneven leathers are not good. So I put them on and had to work out the perfect length.
I strapped on the pommel pack to start getting Arabee used to the weight of the water bottles on her withers. I've had issues with the bight of the reins getting looped under the bottom of my pack, and I'd hoped that discontinuing use of the Dr. Cook's bridle might fix that since the cross-under pieces are so long. Well, the reins were still too long, so I shorted them a few inches and tried that out. Still a little bit too long, but I still have plenty of room to hold rein when she's drinking. Tonight I will shorten them another 2-3 inches.
I've also never drank from the saddle before yesterday, so I thought it'd be wise to practice that a little. She's fine, until I try to put the bottle back in the pack - she isn't fond of the sound of the bottle scratching the pack until it goes in. I've only tried it at the walk and whoa so far....perhaps someday I will be trotting along the trail, grabbing my water bottles on-the-go, and not missing a beat. Not yet~
I trimmed her feet on Wednesday night, and she was a little touchy on the road or driveway, but happy to move out on the dirt.
So basically we rode out and just walked and trotted whenever we felt like it, and worked out the bugs from the new equipment. It was a GORGEOUS afternoon, and I was glad to be outside, and on the back of my horse.
We encountered some serious drama when we were headed towards home, we were halfway between the top of the hill and Harlan's corner when a mo-ped (I think that's what it was) crested the hill behind us. Thankfully I had already finished drinking and had put the bottle back in the pack and had regained hold of the reins, or the outcome may likely have been different! As soon as she heard the thing coming up behind her, she whirled around to get a better look....and once she got a better look, she did the horse version of screaming bloody murder - she had the look (and feel) of pure terror, and leaped, lunged, jumped to the right and off the road to get away from the horrible monster. I'm SOOO glad she recognized the ditch was there, and she managed to keep from falling into it. I'm also glad the driver of the mo-ped slooowly continued driving right on by, because by the time she kept us from falling into the ditch, he had passed us and the threat was gone. So I turned her back around and urged her on after the mo-ped until it was out of sight over the top of the next hill. Phew! Adrenaline still pumping through both of us, I brought her back to a walk, when I heard a REALLY LOUD vehicle coming, it sounded like a big ole truck. I hopped right off of Arabee as quick as I could since she was still hyped up over the mo-ped, and as the little car (so noisy because the muffler must have gone out) crested the hill, I motioned the driver to slow down (he did) and mouthed "thank you!" as he passed.
I got back up, we trotted to the top of the hill, then took a walk through the hog woods to weave through trees and over fallen logs to help the both of us calm down. It was a good ride, we got a lot of tack bugs worked out, survived an attack by a mo-ped AND a car with muffler issues, and I think worked on communication quite a bit. Praise God for giving me the horse he did!