Sunday, November 7, 2010


There are days when everything just clicks. The week had been a series of challenging rides, two steps forward, five steps back (or would that be two trots forward, five blowing-through-aids ahead?).

I decided since I was heading for an out-of-town conference for a week that Major and I needed to get out and have fun, safely of course. I was going to do a short forest ride, but the weather was so spectacular I wanted to see the lake. As we started off we walked and trotted, and I asked for the canter, and asked to slow, without any fits or fighting. Better already!

As we touched the sand we both felt it: electric. The wind was blowing enough to ruffle the lake and his mane, there was no one around, so I asked for the canter along the shore. It is sandy intermixed with rocks and turns, so this isn't a full-out gallop, but should be a nice canter. Major is a bit quicker than I prefer, and although a bit nervous (I know I have to work through this), off we went. I was smiling so much my teeth were dry, he was listening, we were covering ground, it was perfect.

We came around a bend and encountered a large horse-eating rock (that we've seen many many times). Major did a small spook to the side at a canter, I managed to stay on, heart in throat, but all was well! (A recent great post by Haiku Farm's Fiddle didn't cover horse-eating rocks). Going home we mostly trotted, the upper trail isn't safe for much else. In one rutted place closer to home he tried to canter, and while strong I was able to pull him back. We were having such a great time that a mile from home I pulled him up and just got off. He was very surprised, it was not the place where that usually happens, "We've got a while to go Mom," he seemed to question. But I loosened his girth and took out his bit, we walked and jogged home, ending on a good note.

A very good ride, I think because of compromises on both our parts. Major needs to work on listening, and learning that my suggestions are for our own safety. I need to remember that he has proven himself to be surefooted and (mostly) sane, and that going at speed doesn't need to be so scary. His nice canter is slower than his fast trot, but I feel so much more secure during the trot. We both have lots to work on, but this ride one piece clicked into place.

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