New Jersey Vacation

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Clarity

I had been waiting to head out for months and everything just kept getting in the way… But the last thing I was going to do was tell Lauren that my truck was unable to haul and there was a slight issue with getting a trailer. I knew it was going to work out. It just had to work out. I needed this trip. We needed this trip. With a stroke of luck and some bartering, I was able to borrow a friend’s trailer and Dad so graciously handed me the keys to his brand new Dodge… I was one lucky girl.

It was only about a 4 or 5 hour drive but the closer I got, the lighter I felt. I think Brantley some how knew exactly where we were headed and I didn’t even stop for snacks. We pulled into the barn to L waving her hands and jumping up in down. I could of cried.

B unloaded like he was already home and once Charlie caught a whiff, the air was filled a thick bromance once more.

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Bromance

So of course when we started fitting Brantley for a halter for overnight turnout… Charlie lost his shit in his stall which included rearing, striking, bucking, and making all sorts of, “YOU JUST GOT HERE! DON’T LEAVE ME!” noises…

Luckily that ended real fast when C realized how dumb he was being. After a couple errands we had a quick ride before it got too dark and got the trailer ready for the next day. L had a list of places that she wanted to check out and I was psyched! The next couple days were going to be a great way to prep us for the hunter pace we planned on going to.

Our first ride was out to the Round Valley Reservoir and man did we have a blast. It was Charlie’s first outing in a while so we took it easy until he settled in and B was an absolute rock. As things went on and they got comfortable, we started to move out pretty well. Luckily down one strip I got hit in the face with a rock sooooo… We stopped bantering just in time to not get hit by a car.

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Whoops…

Thank goodness we survived that because L decided to explore a hill we both thought led to nowhere when actually it was an incredible gallop path with an even more incredible view at the top.

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Saturday we had breakfast with L’s hubby and headed out for another adventure at Deer Path Park which was about 8 minutes from her house. We didn’t have the highest of hopes for anything spectacular but we really just wanted a nice easy ride to follow our 6 miles mountain ride the previous day.

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We got both of those things including a few fields where we clocked about 25-26mph. Poor Brantley is not used to losing but he ran his heart out!

After tucking them away we prepped for the hunter pace which was the perfect way to end the weekend that’s for sure. Lots of walking… and galloping… and even a few jumps. Unfortunately we came in a bit too fast (13 minutes?) but I don’t think we would’ve wanted to ride any differently. The best part about the weekend (other than stealing a dog at the finish line) was watching L and Charlie click all over again.

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It was definitely difficult to leave… But I was glad to get home to my other boys. One of which I think missed me a lot. Luckily Equine Affairs is right around the corner so I can get one more Lauren fix before next year.

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Downtime

After the trial last weekend we definitely took it easy the following week. I went out for a couple great trail rides with the pup in tow and for once Brantley seemed completely content just standing and talking to strangers for a bit which is new. Usually he’ll dance around wanting to keep walking but I had him on the buckle and he dozed off as we chatted.

We had a couple of quick flatwork days but took a break from jumping and our dressage test. He had Saturday off and then we had a 15-mile ride at the Myles Standish State Forest with Wendy on Sunday.

I didn’t start my watch at the beginning of the ride so I didn’t get to track the whole thing but you can see where we should’ve started. Loooots of gallop time which is what him and I both needed for sure. There were even a few times that I asked him to move out and he questioned it for a second and then obliged like the gentleman he is.

We trotted through puddles and passed dead trees on the sides of the trail without a second thought and even had a couple run in with not so nice cyclists flying by on the main road. One was probably doing 40mph while grunting and moaning so loud we thought he was having an intimate moment with his bicycle. Both boys handled it well and Wendy and I were laughing too hard to even be mad.

After kindly passing another group of horses with a not so happy/friendly chestnut, we took off down the trail so that we didn’t have the chance of getting mangled up in that mess. We were having too good of a ride. We came up again to another road and stopped to check the map. Of course my ears as well as Brantley’s perked up when we heard a motorcycle roaring around the corner… this guy was not going to slow down.

Luckily Brantley lived in a field on a main road by a motorcycle shop so I wasn’t too worried. But the guy saw us and still took the corner hard, kneeling to the ground, picking up speed. Wendy and I just looked at each other and before we could say anything, three more flew by. Boys didn’t even twitch. I was sure something terrible was going to happen after that. There’s no way this ride could be that perfect…

But it was. We went for a quick dip and had an amazing lunch, boys loaded up nicely, and we were homeward bound. Guess this means back to work. Horse Trail #3 on Saturday and we’re so going to kick ass.