Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One More Ride on Dante

One More Ride on Dante

I took Dante out for a trail ride yesterday evening with my older niece on Ranger and Kevin on Starry. We figured we would do a repeat of last week when I rode with my niece. We did the second river, passed home and did the access trail—my niece’s favorite trail. This was her last ride before going back to Cornell, so I wanted to make it a nice ride for her.

The river crossing went well. He is getting very consistent. When we turned at the second river, I suggested we try some trotting. This would be the first time that Dante trotted towards home with us. Flashback to Cole Train—fast and excited—going home at a trot was a totally exhilarating experience for him. I spent a lot of time clicking him for stopping to make sure we could stop when we needed to. He is great trotting towards home, now. Flashback to Cruiser—too fast and very wild. Just a couple years ago, I went through nearly a whole summer of walking only towards home because he got too fast for his age and physical limitations.

Forward to Dante. He was very quiet and responsive. Ranger and Starry were pretty far up ahead, but Dante was not bothered by it. This was too easy. When we started to walk, he told me he really wanted to keep trotting, so he must have enjoyed it, but he did listen to me when I insisted he walk.

When we rode past the trail that crosses the river to go home so that we could go on the access trail, we ran into a problem. Starry and Ranger decided they didn’t want to go further. I stopped Dante behind them and waited, but nothing happened. Evidently, they wanted Dante to go first. I tried to pass them, but Dante did a right angle and tried to go down the riverbank. I stopped him halfway down, but couldn’t get him turned because we were too close to the edge of the trail on the left, and he wasn’t cooperating on the right. I had a cut on my rein finger on the right, so I couldn’t get a good hold of the rein. I ended up dismounting and leading him out of the predicament.

We then caught up with Starry and Ranger who made it 20 feet down the trail and were standing; waiting for us. I mounted, but then no one would go forward. Dante decided to turn to go home. I kept him turning until he was facing the way I wanted to go and gave him a big boot. He jumped and surged ahead of the other two horses. We were on our way.

We did the access trail at a trot for the first time with Dante. Range likes to go faster there, so I kept Dante in the back and he handled it fine. We turned around for home.

A most interesting thing happened with we got to the riverbank to go home. Instead of turning down the bank, he went straight ahead down the trail. I’m sure he knew that was the way home, but I think he didn’t want to go down without permission like he did on the way past a short time before—and got into trouble. Could he have learned that so quickly? Could he be so concerned about doing the right thing? I’m not sure. After we passed the trail, I turned him and we headed down the riverbank with no issues at all.

Overall, it was a good ride, and I think that Ellen will be taking him over, soon. I rather miss riding my little Cole Train—she has been riding him for me, and they have been having great rides.

No comments: