Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Update

A lot happened this weekend on the horse front.

First of all, the outdoor ring dried up enough to turn Cole out to run. He won’t run if it is muddy. After testing the footing, he decided to roll and then ran around and around and around. I took him in when he decided to attack the gate. He needed that so much.

I then took Cruiser out for a ride with my sister on Ranger. For the first time since about Thanksgiving, we were able to cross the river. Cruiser wanted to walk really fast, and he threw some gaiting in, too. Ranger—well he preferred to buck. He does these tiny little bucks. We call them kitten bucks. If you are prepared for it, they are nothing. If not—off you go. My sister was prepared. He also spooked bad once when Cruiser snorted—he was that wired.

We couldn’t go as far as we wanted because a tree was down, but it was far enough to make us feel satisfied.

I then rode Cole in the arena. He was great. We rode wherever we pleased without a problem at all. We spent most of the time on the formerly scary end. He was a whole new horse—all because he got to blow off some steam.

The river was too high to cross a green horse, so I took off his saddle and led him down the hill to the river. He did well both up and down. This gave me a lot of confidence…

Sunday, we took Cruiser and Ranger on the same ride. They were quieter and there was no kitten bucks. We kept it at a walk—no choice. The flooding we had a few weeks ago turned the trails to gravel. We are hoping they will finally repair them. They have needed repair in many places for years, but this is so bad that the whole trail should be resurfaced.

I rode Cole in the arena, again, and he had one legitimate spook. After that, he was fine. Someone we know stopped by to visit my boyfriend, and she peeked in to see us ride. The last time she saw Cole, I hadn’t started riding him, yet. She is in dressage. I made sure Cole was at his best when she was watching. I am not kidding here—she said he reminded her of Tortilla. He’s only the most popular dressage horse right now. She said Cole wants to be a dressage horse, and I said he’ll have to settle for a trail horse. It does give you an idea of what he is doing. It still amazes me. It’s not my skill. It’s his natural ability.

I then shocked everyone when I told them I was taking him across the river. My sister drove down to the park, so she wouldn’t have to cross the icy water on foot. When we got down the hill, she was on the far side with her camera. She got some great pictures, so I hope she sends them to me. At first, he wouldn’t step in the water. I kept squeezing my legs until he put his first hoof in. I then clicked and treated him. He was playing in the water—refusing to go forward. I started squeezing, again. When he began to paw, his time was up. I tickled him with the whip, and he went right in. It took less than a minute. He carefully walked across to be greeted by my sister on the other side with a handful of treats.

He was fine on the ride to the fallen tree. Once he tried to trot, but I stopped him readily. On the way back, I was ready for him to rush down the river bank like he always tried to do last fall. On the first step, he hit some mud, slid and froze. He learned his lesson about rushing, and I didn’t have to do a thing. He hesitated about stepping in the water, but once he did, he went right across.

There is no way a young horse could be so good on his first ride on the trail in the spring. On the way up the hill, he started to rush. I got off to lead him. He continually tried to trot. My arena work paid off. He will stop for the work “whoa” at a walk or a trot. I just kept stopping him and making him stand. Eventually, he gave up and started to walk quietly. That’s when I clicked.

Next time, I will start clicking him for walking up the hill before he starts the trotting routine. I think that will get him to change his mind and not rush.

I was pleased with both my horses this weekend. Unfortunately, the weather will be taking a turn for the worse by next weekend. It will be winter, again.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

What an exciting weekend!! After seeing the video of Cole trotting it doesn't surprise me that he reminds her of Totilas. :D What a huge compliment. I'm so happy Cole did so great with his first river crossing this year. Your hard work sure is paying off. Congrats!