Monday, August 23, 2010

canal trail two and lesson

A Wednesday night ride on the canal trail was not quite as relaxing and fun as I'd hoped. Trail is fine, but Major was having too much fun trying to pick up speed in the nice sandy footing! Lots of half halts, full halts, and whoas punctuated the ride, which was just a short trip. I think on shorter rides our focus needs to be on paying attention and behaving, because 5 miles just doesn't put any dent in his fitness level (he wasn't even sweaty on an 85 degree evening), but there are a couple nice loops that distance and the time it takes after work is just right.

Making him listen did get some support in our lesson on Thursday night. Lesson is hard to get to right after work, I have to walk down the road about 20 minutes, have him ready to go, myself off work early, etc. So I'd wanted to do more lessons this summer, but time didn't allow. Thursday night was really good. There were just four people in a group lesson, all with different issues, but all the issues being address by the instructor are something we'll all encounter. It was great to watch the instructor work with a horse who is really scared of contact with the bit, and get him listening and much more quiet. I worked on not motorcycling around corners, using contact and balance. We all did some canter work, and I added some exercises I can practice at home. I think Major was mentally tired out from that one hour lesson, it feels good to practice different things with him and help him become a more solid equine citizen.

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