Wednesday, March 16, 2011

a fight, then peace

The ride started out nicely...five miles to Mormon Ravine. Previously that has been the bridge of death, but Major crossed it with only a little jumpiness, and had to practice crossing again. The whole trail there is very rocky, up-and-down, crossing mud puddles and tiny creeks. Some trotting can be done, but lots of listening is important.

Coming home we just worked on the listening part, which was a a fight. A very frustrating ride home, I added at least an extra mile to work on some kinks. Major was pulling and pulling, so we worked on walking nicely, backing and sidepassing down the trail. He was frustrated because he just wanted to go-go-go! But it is not safe...and that is not what I was asking! I was frustrated because we've worked and worked on this, but I realize it's an ongoing evolving process.

So the next day under gathering storm clouds we took another ride. We stayed in the forest and just walked. And stopped and ate grass. And walked. I stayed on the drier trails, just because I'm tired of slopping through mud. When Major wanted to trot I just asked him to stop, back up, turn around, think about that decision, and kept calmly on. Taking a cue from a friend's latest adventure, I went toward home then away, so he never quite knew where we were going.

It was a nice ride for both of us. Once he figured out that the plan was no plan, and that we'd stop for grass a lot, I think Major thought it was a fun ride too. I had really considered going out, doing another big ride, getting him to listen...but then realized that while those kinds of ride are certainly in my future, I'd rather end the weekend on a good note.

And I'm glad I did. It has now been raining for three days, and probably for the next six more. Two inches of rain yesterday, the trails will be back to a quagmire. Major will get a break, we'll get on the trails again, and like anything, begin the process.

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