Sorry for the teaser and running away. I've had a crazy busy week with lots of ups and downs, but no time to blog. But, now that I've taken the GRE (and, if the scoring remains accurate, kicked its ass), I have more time and I can write about our fantastic week up in Bayfield, WI.
Going up to Bayfield (a small town near the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior) has been a tradition for my family for the past 16 years. We always stay at the same place for a week and generally have a good time. But, for a long time, it was kind of boring for me. Swimming, sitting on the beach, and small-scale hiking only hold my interest for so long. So, when we bought the horses 8 years ago, my parents decided to see if we could bring them with. Luckily, there is a stable close by that is used to temporary boarders, and Royal has been to Bayfield every year since then.
This year, we accomplished some great things. Royal traveled well up, settled in nicely, and we had a relaxing few days playing with some dressage and jumping. On Thursday, I put my plan into action. I hooked up the truck and trailer and brought Royal to the beach where we were staying to see if he'd go in the Really Really Really Really Really Big Puddle, a.k.a. Lake Superior.
First, I had to see if he'd even be willing to go near the water, and he was.
Then it was time to put on my shorts and toe-shoes, and try some riding. Royal was skeptical at first.
But after a little patience and approach/retreat, he waded in. And discovered he liked it!
The water was so clear and not as cold as in the past, so he splashed and splashed. I was feeling so confident that I decided to see if he would go around the dock onto the main beach.
He seemed to like that, although he wasn't too sure about the waves on the beach, so we headed back. By this time the battery on the camera was dying, so the pictures weren't that great.
We ended up doing that twice more, with Royal becoming more and more confident with each time. It was a good day.
The next day, my mom came out with me to the stable. I decided to try out the mini-cross-country course in the field to see what Royal thought. And evidently, he's a cross-country machine.
He even powered over the little ditch, probably because I'd been having him jump over that Online all week. By then it was no big deal and he just skipped over it.
All in all, it was a great week and I'm very happy I had the opportunity to take him up there. He seemed to enjoy the experience and I think it was great prep for the Steepleview Event.