six miles and a toddler
We waved by to the truck and turned right up the dirt road that lead to Shelly's house. When we hit the long winding driveway to her property I picked Merlin up into a canter so we could arrive in style. Merlin exploded up the dirt road in a joyful and smooth run and I could not believe this was the same pony who could only trot for 15 minute sat a time when I got him. He's lost over a hundred pounds this summer and our 6 miles left him sweating, but just fine. Most of the ride is just a happy walk, but it sure was awesome to make that kind of entrance!
Shelly was in the driveway and smiled to see us. She said when she heard the running hoof prints she knew it had to be me. "Who else would arrive for a social call on horseback", she said? She was getting her toddler Aidan into his car seat, they were about to head out on an errand. I said I was just stopping by to say hi and we chatted for a while. She thought Merlin was a peach, and Aidan gawked more than the dump truck guy.
I hopped off when I arrived and Shelly gave Merlin some water from a cooler. He drank a bit and cooled down and then Aidan, her son, asked if he could get up on the horse? Sure! I said, and the lad held onto the horn and walked around his mama's front lawn. Shelly said it was his first time on a horse that didn't just stand still under him and I beamed at her. Aidan was glowing, so was his mother. I think we got a future rider up there!