Tuesday, June 11, 2013
A bunch of rides
Catching up on my riding blogs. I rode by myself on Friday, as Kevin had plans and Starry was due to have a day off. I took Cole on a fast 5-mile ride. I always ride faster when I’m by myself. This was our day to canter. We cantered in all the good spots. When we reached the spot that I practice that hard-to-get-right lead, he knew what I wanted. A light touch of my leg, and we were off. Only problem is we went up before we went forward. He gave me quite a big buck. As I looked down—waiting to land back in the saddle, I noticed he took the wrong lead. I also had time to think that if he bucked again, I wouldn’t be landing in the saddle. He didn’t buck—he did a flying lead change, instead and raced off on the requested for right lead.
My sister had to work, so that meant Kevin and I would go on a long ride—longer and faster than my sister is willing to do with Ranger. I missed riding with her, very much, but we made the best of it. We rode for 2.75 hours—much of it trotting—with the last 45 minutes towards home at a relaxing walk. Cole and I did get some cantering in when we lost Starry on a good section of trail. At first, he wanted to just keep trotting, and he gave me a very reluctant canter. We trotted some more, and when I asked for the canter a second time, he was much more motivated—and it was fun.
We were able to trot a lot on the way home. By keeping Starry in the lead, I was able to regulate Cole’s speed and all went well. When Cole is in the lead, he goes faster, Starry gets upset and starts to canter–and then they want to race. If Starry is in the lead, it doesn’t matter how fast he goes—Cole can keep up at the trot and we can really burn up the trail.
The weather was cool, there weren’t any bugs and the trails were very quiet. The only way it could have been better would be if Ellen was there. We did see her before the ride as she came out right before work. She had just finished riding Dante in the arena and on the hill when I arrived. She led Ranger around with Cruiser and me.
Ellen had to work, again. This time, I brought my younger niece (17) out to ride her horse, Ranger. First, I rode Cruiser for a half hour at a walk on the barn property. I had my niece lead Dante with us. This is the first time she saw him, and she thought he was so cute.
Kevin came with us on the ride. We did 5 miles with a fair amount of slow trotting on the way out, and then we walked all the way home. Cole and Starry were perfectly behaved, but still had energy, so the long ride the day before just took the edge off of them. I wasn’t worried about Cole Train—he is a Morab, after all. I was more worried about overdoing it with Starry. Kevin doesn’t ride quite like that often, and Starry is a large Quarter Horse. Turns out I underestimated the big behemoth. My niece really enjoyed herself. A few times, Ranger got really nervous from some scary traffic that was close to the trail, but she knew to just turn him to face it and ask him to stand.
It was just Kevin and me, again. We did the 5-mile ride. The horses were nearly perfect, and we really enjoyed ourselves. We did a lot of trotting and some cantering. On the way home, I stopped to pick a few mulberries from a tree right alongside the trail. I gave them to Cole, and he loved them. In fact, he asked for more by doing his silly walk. I didn’t give him any, since I don’t encourage him to do the silly walk when I’m in the saddle without permission. Then he tried a side pass. No clicks since I didn’t ask for it, again. So instead, we trotted. I asked Cole to go into the big show trot—and he did! He got clicked for that.
When we got to the next mulberry tree, I suggested Kevin pick a few for Starry. He did, but Starry had trouble picking them out of his hand. Starry decided to take the matter into his own hands, bit off a foot of branch and ate the whole thing—red and black mulberries, leaves and wood. He really liked it.
I took Cruiser on his physical therapy walk down the hill to the river. I trotted him at the bottom and he was sound. We then walked up, but he decided to gait, instead. His gait can get pretty fast, and he gave me quite a workout. If the river is in good shape this weekend, I would love to take him on a short, easy trail ride.
Ellen’s work schedule really messed us up this week. She has been working with Dante in the arena, and each ride, he gets better. They have also bee riding around the property. The weekday road construction has been keeping her off the trail. We have been very frustrated about circumstances keeping Dante off the trail. We hope that will change, soon. (Maybe he could go with Cruiser?)