The sun was shining beautifully through the autumn colored trees. Crackling was heard below as the horses hooves were crushing fallen leaves, but other than that, the fall forest was quiet. There was no bothersome bugs pestering the two horses and two riders.
It was the perfect fall day for a trail ride, a trail ride where Penny and Amy Erickson shared their love for horses, discovered that a little encouragement can lead to an accomplishment and that accomplishment doesn’t have to be awarded with a ribbon or trophy.
“For so many years, our horse time together was centered around showing,” said Penny, rural resident of Roseau, Minn. “Our trail ride through Bemis Hill had proven there was a whole lot more opportunity for us to have great times with our horses.”
Penny and her daughter Amy have shown horses for many years. According to the Horses and Horse Information website, there are a few general categories regional horse shows are divided into:
Penny and Amy did most of their showing in pleasure and equitation classes. But since then, the mother-daughter pair has shared their love for horses out of the show arena and on the trail.
On one particular trail ride at Bemis Hill, Amy brought her former seven-year-old 4-H show horse Lexi out on the trail. Penny says she was scared to death for Amy.
“This was the insane show horse that had scared trainers at a quarter horse show and broke her stall down at the state 4-H horse show,” said Penny. “How could we dare bring her to the state forest for a trail ride?”
Thoughts of what ifs kept rolling through Pennys mind as they continued to saddle up the horses.
Once mounted, Penny started leading the way on her little grey Arab named Casper.
“My moms horse was a great leader for Lexi, especially when it came to going through water and doing out of the ordinary things,” said Amy, who currently lives in Thief River Falls, Minn.
As their ride began, Lexi was scared of everything whether it was a campsite, picnic table or garbage can. Even Penny’s experienced trail horse Casper was tested by Lexi’s prancing. To calm the horses, they found it best to move forward at a steady trot.
A trot is a two-beat gait where the diagonal legs are moved synchronously, according to the Horses and Horse Information website.
While trotting straight down the trail, Lexi continued to snake her neck from side to side, seeking something to be afraid of. However, after awhile, Penny said that Lexi seemed to relax and Amy continued to quietly encourage her.
“This was such a good memory, not only because of the great day,” said Penny, “but also the great strides that were taken toward a lifelong pastime for both of us.”
That day, Penny and Amy shared their love of horses together, but also discovered that horses too need a little encouragement to achieve an accomplishment.
If you have a passion for horses, check out the following links:
- American Quarter Horse Association
- Arabian Horse Association
- Horses for Sale
- Vatnsdal Stables
- Pleasure Horse.com