Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Second big ride

On Monday afternoon, I saw what the weather forecast looked like, I wasn’t too busy at work, so I decided to take yesterday off. What a great decision. The weather was perfect for trail riding.

My sister works second shift and usually rides in the mornings. I took Cruiser with her and Ranger for a short ride. She was really happy to have the company.

When we got back, she went to work and I saddled up Cole. We were going to go on our second long solo ride. Unlike last week, the river was low, so we crossed at all 4 crossings. I didn’t like the third crossing. There was no good path through the big rocks. Cole was a dream going through them, though. From now on, I will be going on the river ford as I have the last few years with Cruiser.

The big river crossing was great. This is the first time he crossed it by himself. He marched right in and crossed like a champ.

We had a few issues. We went through the busy intersection, and once we reached the trail, he bolted forward. I was able to stop him right away, but then he did it about 30 seconds later. Once again, I stopped him. Shortly after, on the other side of thanks, big river, he bolted up the bank. I didn’t know what to make of it, but I started trotting, and he went really, really fast for the first minute. I then decided he was just responding to excitement. He didn’t do it any after that.

We trotted a lot on the way out, and once he settled, he did pretty well. A few times, he stopped on his own, but that was the only problem. We also trotted on the way home when we were far away. At first, he was steady and responsive when I asked him to return to a walk, but the closer we got to home, the faster he went and the less cooperative he was about stopping. Of course, that is what I would expect. I was clicking all of his good downward transitions on the way home. I didn’t click the bad ones.

He wasn’t too concerned about the Brookpark Bridge, this time. I clicked him for that. He was a little worried when he saw the 480 bridge, but he did better than he did with the Brookpark Bridge last week. I clicked for good behavior. We turned around just past the second bridge to go home.

A few times, on the way home, he tried to trot without permission, and I brought him to a halt and started again. To help explain what I wanted, I then clicked a few times for a quiet walk. He then saw the light, and stayed at a walk.

We planned to walk the last half hour home, but 15 minutes into it, we found my boyfriend on his horse, Starry. He wanted to go on a longer ride, so I turned back with Cole and rode away from home for a while. Cole didn’t like that, and he tried to spin to go home, once. We put Starry ahead of him, and then he quietly followed him. I clicked him a few times for that, too.

We made it home. With my backtracking with Starry, the ride turned out to be 2 hours and 45 minutes. It was a little longer than expected. I am giving him this evening off, and I will just ride Cruiser in the rain. Yes, after 10 days of sun, the rain is back. At least we got a break after a rainy, rainy year.

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