The Gummy Bear Trail

When riding out on the trails, it’s never wise to follow the same route time and again. Horses are creatures of habit and when they know they’re homebound, they might want to hustle home.

But we don’t worry much about Bugsy kicking it into overdrive. He’s not going to tarnish the halo over his forelock.

Which is good. Since Hadley’s still learning and I have to lead, our trail riding choices are limited.

Every so often, we head out the back field, on a search-and-recovery mission for runaway Maisie. And once we walked over to the big barn next door while they were holding a dressage show. That day the horses, already hopped up and edgy, found the mere sight of a spotted pony and a tutu-clad 3-year-old… positively terrifying.
Most of the time though, we mosey up to my neighbor Liz’s barn. It’s the perfect distance. And, we like to raid her treat jar.
The journey isn’t always easy. If I’ve got Brynn, I push her in the stroller — trying not to let her roll off the pitched gravel drive — while dragging Bugsy and Hadley behind me. Meanwhile, Maisie nips at the pony’s heels. 
Then it’s up a steep hill, straining to push the stroller through the high grass, with the pony striding beside. Then across Chet’s lawn (please, Bugsy, don’t drop a bomb), around the vegetable garden, and past Liz’s house to her barn.
In the tackroom, she stores a jar of peppermint treats for her horses. I know where it’s stashed; Bugsy always snarfs down a few. And lately, Liz has been stocking candy for Hadley as well. Sometimes we replenish the supply, but mostly we stuff our faces and head home. 
About a week ago, after a trek up the hill, we discovered that the peppermint stash was drained. I glanced around, just in case I’d missed a stray horse treat, but the shelves were bare. Bugsy pricked his ears and looked expectantly.

“Sorry, Bugs, there’s only real candy.”

When he heard the rustle of plastic, he nosed my elbow. 
“Want to try one?” I asked.
Bugsy likes gummy bears just fine.