Monday, May 17, 2010

fun and fast

I hadn't planned on a fast ride, just a short one. But it ended up being a great time, fast and (mostly) behaved, making me proud of my horse! Saturday I didn't want to spend all day at the barn (well, I would have but house and home and friends are important too, balance, right?). Went out and was ready to ride at 10. Thought I'd do a short loop up the road, to Sterling then Horseshoe Bar.

At Sterling a boy scout group was working on an Eagle Scout project (installing benches, nice) so we skirted our usual trail. Heading to Horseshoe Major was good, some trot and walk, a balance for us both. We did so much trotting though (since he was behaving and rating!) that we were there really quickly! I looked at my watch...there was time, I'd go towards Rattlesnake a bit...ended up going the whole way! At one point we did a lovely fast trot (10+ mph) for close to 10 minutes. I know that isn't much for some people, but these trails are tricky, and we haven't had much time for the big extended trot. Major slowed pretty nicely over rocks, around corners, down steep hills, listening quite well, and maintained a slower trot in other sections.

We may finally have some sort of agreement on having more than one trot speed, something I'm very happy about. The most fun though was at Rattlensnake Bar. The lake is so high, I found a nice spot where the dirt road disappears into the lake, to get Major a drink. I'd dismounted and held the reins as a leadrope. He sniffed the water's edge a couple times, then dove right in! He drank with all four feet in the water, kept going deeper, put almost his whole head under a couple times, and I think he would have gone swimming if I hadn't stopped him! It didn't look safe since the water dropped off sharply, plus all my tack did not need to get wet, but someday that would be fun.

He was refreshed, we were heading home, I was expecting a fight. Other than a couple times of running off (and being circled into bushes, highly annoying) we was very good, and seemed to figure out I'd let him trot if he'd walk the downhills and slow down over the rocks and bridges. Coming home we took a new trail, when I turned him onto it he didn't even question, just kept trotting. I love how brave he is. After about a 1/2 mile he questioned where were were going, convinced it wasn't the way home. We just kept going, and when I had to dismount and walk along the road, the light bulb moment on his face "Oh. Now I know where we are!" was just too funny.

It was fast and fun, he did the whole thing barefoot no problems, the more miles the better everything is getting (feet, behavior, relationship). He got two carrots for being good and a roll in the is good.

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