Thursday, March 27, 2014

Trail Ride!

Trail Ride!

The park cleared up the ice chunks at the river crossing—finally we can trail ride? Kevin checked his calendar. The last time we went on a ride across the river was January 1. No wonder I was longing for trail riding so much—it really has been a long time.

In the evening, I let Cole play a few minutes in the arena to get his bucks out, then we saddled up quickly and headed out. Kevin rode Starry, of course. He had crossed the river the day before on him, so it wasn’t there first day out.

We did have to thread through the remaining ice chunks, but they didn’t’ seem to bother Cole at all. We waited at the river for Starry because Kevin wanted to show us the best place to cross. The water was low enough that we could see the bottom and go around some large rocks. Cole went right in the water. I was happy he didn’t hesitate, so I clicked and treated him. He took a sip and then we crossed to the other side.

Since it was so cold, (25 degrees) the ground was rough and frozen in most places. We planned to stay at a walk. Cole was so excited that he walked very, very fast. Starry doesn’t believe in fast walking, so it wasn’t long before I was far ahead of them. We reached a spot that the sun thawed out the trail, is I couldn’t resist the temptation. We started trotting. That didn’t last long and Cole was cantering. In my heart, I wanted to keep cantering, but that’s against the rules. My horses have to stay in the gait requested for at least the first 10 years, so I made him trot. It wasn’t long before the trail got bad, again, and I asked for a walk. he dropped right into it, so I clicked him. We did a few short stretches of trotting whenever the trail looked good.

Soon, I could hear Kevin in the distance. Starry knew what we were doing and he was getting all wound up. I stopped Cole and waited for them. The trail was pretty much frozen from then on, so we just walked.

At the next river crossing we turned around to walk home. I kept having to wait for Starry, so I was clicking and treating Cole for walking quietly. When I first started riding Cole on the trail, he had the hardest time with just walking towards home, and this I how I taught him to. It never hurts to review the lessons. Anyway, it gave Starry a chance to catch up.

There were a few times when Starry got feisty—wanting to play with Cole. When he did, we just put him in the lead. He hates leading, so it actually is a punishment. It would only last a short time, since Cole was walking so fast, but it would get Starry to settle down. When Cole misbehaves, we put him in the back of the line for the same reason. We got back to the barn at dusk.

As soon as we got back across the river, we dismounted to lead. We were pretty cold, and walking up the hill really helps warm you up. Overall, we were happy with both horses. For the first time together in months in very cold weather, they were very good.

We had a great time riding out on the trail and riding together, again. We are looking forward to many such evening rides in the months to come.


Brian said...

I hope you have a happy riding weekend!!!

achieve1dream said...

"for the first ten years" cracked me up! That is hilarious. :D