Wednesday, October 1, 2014

just a little bit...

The weather cooled, the smoke (mostly) cleared and after two weeks off I took my trusty steed for a ride.
Except I somehow grabbed the crazy Spring version of my horse, forgetting that this variety of horse also appears during cool Fall months, cooped up winter weather and endurance rides.

Major: I can't possibly leave, I need to stay behind the closed gate, didn't you read the sign?!

dry trails even after a good rain

So this ride was just a little bit crazy. Actually heading out he was a slug, like other bloggers have noted recently, he gets bored on the same trails, and these we've done a few hundred times. Until we got to the lake, and saw some tiny distant horses, headed in the opposite direction, and Major thought he had been missing the race.

tiny distant horses

He was just exuberant, but wanting to go way too fast. The trails are nice and sandy, until there is a big patch of rocks, a blind corner or steep rock-strewn drop-off. So listening is key, and he certainly was not listening! Open sandy trails, cool air and too much time off equals many half-halts, full halts, and one-rein stops. A ride full of little and big arguments, though I was still happy to be riding.

where are all the other horses? I'm all alone in this crazy landscape...

But I wanted a different ride. So a few days later I took him out again, and it too was just a little bit crazy...but I just went with (most of) it. I didn't let him be a slug on the way out, much encouragement got a good trot all the way to the lake. Then I chose a trail that required a bit more thinking, let him fly away from home and in safe zones, and we both had a much better time.

I might have wanted a different ride, but I had the same horse. Who wants to go fast, and I have to compromise. I re-learn this a few times a year (I am obviously a very slow, non-retentive learner!). And he has to compromise too, which is why after about five fast miles he asked to slow in a couple spots, stopped the serious arguing about rating over rocks, and we trotted down the trail together. Just a little bit better.

sunset ears


  1. When Ashke gets up like that on the trail, I turn our argument about going forward into a request for a shoulder in or a half-pass down the trail. We do it at the trot and start to the right then switch to the left. It only takes about three minutes for him to decide it is easier to listen and calm down then to continue down the trail that way. Of course, I started him on that movement in the arena, but I can tell you it has come in very handy in redirecting his attention.

  2. I don't get those "going way too fast" rides at all with Scrappy but I remember them from Desire, haha. I will have to wait for another few years for Sheza to be physically and mentally ready to go above the walk, she'll be zoomy like her mother but in theory less of a handful..