Windridge Farm Hunter Pace

Sara already covered most of the good parts, so here I am to tell you how she totally glossed over how annoying P was.


Yes, you


First off, neither P nor I have ever done a hunter pace. We’ve planned multiple times to get out there, but have never been able to make it to a single one for various reasons. So when Sara and I planned to meet up Sunday morning at 9 (meaning a barn departure time of 7:15 AM), imagine my utter shock and disbelief (sarcasm) when I get this message at 7:00 PM Friday night.




We JUST moved barns and the old farriers couldn’t get out to the new one with their schedule, so we were switching to the NEW farrier (who is old farrier approved), but he’s not scheduled to come out until Oct 6th. So I had to find someone who could do it sometime Saturday. NBD.


P: What’s this? Did some crazy horse lose their shoe? Who would do such a thing?
Me: ::glares harder:: P: Oh…you already know it was me. Yeah. Oops.

Thankfully, old farrier took pity on me and let me haul to her place so she could tack it back on in between riding her own horses. Back in business!

The hunter pace ran from 9:30-3:30, so you could show up anytime during those hours and ride. Sara had the good sense to start early before the trails got crowded, so we were the only 2 there at 9 AM. P was uncharacteristically spooky at first, probably due to the sudden cold front, but took the lead and we headed into the woods.




It was a lot of fun to catch up with Sara, who’s actually done this stuff before. We did some trotting and some cantering, then Gem revealed her plan to get some snacking in- loosen the girth!


With the saddle firmly in place, we got back on the trail…and got ourselves lost thanks to a mostly hidden trail marker.


Gem butt!



There were some open places where we could canter, which was so much fun. P has such a slow canter and gallop, but Gem is 15h and just couldn’t keep up. BUT she’s ridiculously smart (and uber competitive) and tried to cut across the field to get in front. Seriously, don’t cross this mare.


Gem: Yeah, I randomly spook at nothing but it’s only to keep you lesser beings on your toes. P: Yes, ma’am!


Then my helmet cam unfortunately shut off because I neglected to delete previous videos and it ran out of memory, so now I don’t have footage of the Worst Trail Horse Ever.

It was a ONE foot creek crossing. P came to a sliding stop but Gem,Β being the awesome endurance horse that she is, led P over it, and we went back and forth a couple of times to solidify that no trolls lived there.


PC: Sara; This was what my water loving event horse was afraid of


Joke was on me.

Again, P resumed the lead until we came to another one foot crossing. P cared nothing that Gem survived over it, he wasn’t going. So I got off and led him over, re-mounted and we resumed….

For about 10 feet until we came to ANOTHER one. This one there was nothing I could do. He wouldn’t follow Gem, he wouldn’t follow me, he wouldn’t back up. It was just a hell no. And then a nice couple came along and took pity. The woman tried her hardest- she teaches bombproofing clinics but P was determined to take her ego down. Her husband used his (obviously experienced at these kinds of things) horse Duke to get behind P and nudge and bite him along, but P just backed further into the woods. When Sara says we were there for about 30 minutes, she’s not exaggerating.


PC: Sara; This was just mind-blowing for P


Now…I was trying to keep my wits about me and channel my inner Denny Emerson. P has never seen this before, he’s scared, right? Yeah…I thought so, too, until, as I’m pony club kicking him trying to get him even just to LEAN in the right direction, Sara busts out laughing and says he’s just standing there, with a back hoof cocked up, like he’s resting.




So we finally gave up and took our own little path to the road. And then got back on the trail, where P pretended like nothing had ever happened.


P: But I’m so good at cantering, does it matter? Me: YES


And then along came a bridge that had no railings but a pretty far drop, so I promptly hopped off and P just walked next to me like he walks over bridges all the time. So 12 inch creek crossings are the end of the world, but bridges that look like certain death (to me) are fine?


Then we had to get IN the water. Again, P said, no thank you. So I grabbed aΒ  long stick with lots of leaves in it and we headed in…together.


PC: Sara; P: This is boring, Me: I hate you


So then we come to another creek bed crossing. It was a little steep on either side but there was no water, so surely this will be fine.

When I tell you that at one point in time I was contemplating HOW I was going to tell my family that I couldn’t get out of the woods and I was just going to have to live there, I’m not kidding. It was so frustrating. Gem crossed back and forth just fine multiple times, but P was having none of it. Finally Sara tied Gem to a tree to help….and was it ever a sight to behold. Sara had P by the reins pulling and I’m behind him pushing. We must’ve looked like total rank morons but my horse was just having NONE of it.


After 20 minutes of getting nowhere, this was more my expression


I’m pretty sure this is where I threatened to sell him, but then realized that I couldn’t because who’s going to come out to the middle of the woods to try my horse?


I gave up on that one also, and we found a different route, got back on the trail and headed for the finish.

Minus those blips, I had an absolute blast. Sara is so much fun and Gem is a really cool horse to trail ride with. There’s obviously some things I need to work on with P that our nicely manicured trails with no creek crossings or ditches won’t help with. New trail adventures are in order, stat. And I need to wear spurs. I don’t know why I keep thinking I don’t. That morning I had packed them, but P was so fresh and a bit spooky so I figured I didn’t need them. ALWAYS WEAR SPURS, KC. And for good measure, a crop,too. It would’ve been one thing if he was scared, but he wasn’t. He wasn’t snorting, shaking, or doing anything that indicated he was worried. He was just letting me wear myself out trying all sorts of tricks to get him to move. And he won twice, which I HATE.


So all we can do is get back out there! Armed appropriately this time, of course.


I say grudgingly


25 thoughts on “Windridge Farm Hunter Pace”

  1. i am sorry but i am giggling so hard people are coming by my office to see if i am okay. LOL Love the Winnie the Pooh jpgs. OMG. OMG P. You make my day daily. OMG. HA HA HA Sorry not really laughing at you….Who will come try your horse in the woods…>LMAO. OHMYGOD. ha ha ha glad you had fun. Gem is an angel to put up with P Shenighans. AND He tried to tell you he didnt want to go by removing his shoe. HA I have tears in my eyes. I kid you not. Priceless. thanks so much for this post (We also did our first paper chase this weekend and yes i might keep my horse over P HA He may not be fast but he goes over everything HA HA HA)


  2. omg hahaha. I mean, I’m laughing with you. ha! Oh P. Just the visual of your frustration and pony club kicks while he cocks his hind leg and zones out, just the picture of passive resistance. I love it. What a turd!


  3. Hahahaha naughty boy P!!!!!! You’ll just have to come trail riding one weekend (in a non hunter pace setting) and we can go to the best creek crossing ever to school P πŸ™‚ it’s not to deep but massively wide and very inviting. And we can spend as much time as needed there 😁


  4. omg P certainly is cut from some special cloth, isn’t he?? lol! sounds like a great ride tho – how much fun to get out hacking about with Sara and Gem!!


    1. I’d like to know which cloth so that I can be sure to burn it. I should probably post his pedigree with a warning: “Don’t proceed unless you want to get grey hair early.”


  5. Oh Poor Pilgrim. He says he is an event horse not an endurance horse! I’m still laughing at Duke biting him and Gem rolling her eyes at Pilgrim then blasting through. He was totally just chilling too. No fear at all. He was just putting a hard stop on it. It was fun!!! I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time (and not just at Pilgrim being Pilgrim but the entire time) I can’t wait until next time πŸ™‚


    1. Now that it’s over (and I’m not trying to figure out how to find shelter in the woods I was sure I’d never leave) it WAS really funny. You could totally see the disdain in Gem’s eyes. And Duke…there are no words!


      1. I can just imagine that conversation. Honey, can you bring me a tent? We are stuck between two creeks with no way out. We are fine but yeah I think I’m just gonna have to camp her a while. He is 7 now. So maybe 20 years or so?” Ha!!!


  6. Scarlet ends up launching himself over puddles. We used to ride in my trainer’s arena when it had rained. She kept lessons going unless the arena was totally flooded. Those were some fights to get him to just go through those. We did get it but it never sticks. I feel your pain.


    1. Usually I have no trouble with him. He’s fine with puddles and water on course. Besides maybe the uncertain footing or entrances in, or maybe the fact that it was a running creek vs still water, I was surprised at how much NOPE I got.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I don’t quite get it since P typically loooves water. My only guess is that it’s because it was moving or something about the footing. It was one foot though! Just jump it, man!


  7. Wow. Was P channeling Aria? She will not get into or cross water for me. Tried to take me out on trees a few times even to avoid it. Overall sounded fun but I know how frustrating it is when they won’t do something as easy as cross water! Haha.


      1. So strange! Maybe he was just having an off day. Aria was ‘okay’ with water before she was sent off for training and when she came back she was like ‘I do so much for you now, but I’m taking a hard stance on what I no longer want to do for you’. Lol


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