Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dante and the River

Saturday dawned a beautiful morning—and it was the day that Dante was going to cross the river. The river was finally low enough for us to cross safely. I met Ellen at the barn—all excited. I was the one who was going to ride Dante. She would be on reliable Ranger. Ellen was very nervous—I was just excited.

Dante wasn’t always the most reliable horse last year with the river. Last summer, he was crossing with Ellen, but he would go really fast—and it scared Ellen. Finally, his rushing caused him to fall. Neither Ellen or Dante were hurt, but they were both scared.

I stepped in to save the day, but it wasn’t easy. The next time when we took Dante out for a ride, he refused to cross and it took about 15 minutes until he did. After that, he was hesitant but improved. We had him crossing at the next crossing—and then he decided he didn’t like that, either, and we had to do more work with him. That actually happened twice. On one other crossing, we only tried once—and failed miserably, though I think it was because of the deep mud leading up to the water that was the problem.

Since he dipped his toes in the water a number of times, I wasn’t too worried. His usual ploy was to dart to the left as soon as he reached the water. I was ready to counter with the right rein—and if that failed, circle him to the left until we were facing the water, again.

I had nothing to worry about. He stepped right in and walked across. He did go a little too fast, but not the way he used to. I tried to get him to stop halfway, but he completely ignored me.

We had a wonderful ride with some walking and some trotting. He was simply perfect—just following Ranger along like he didn’t have a 4-month break from trail riding.

On the way home, the river bank was very muddy, and he didn’t like that—yet, he wasn’t going to let that keep him from getting back to the barn. Once again, I tried to stop him as he crossed, and he just kept walking. We rode up the hill to home beautifully. His first trail ride of the year got him an A+.

Sunday also dawned a beautiful morning—and everything else was the same as the day before—except he did stop in the river when I asked him to—and earned himself a click and a carrot. A+ all the way. Dante is a great horse! I can’t wait to ride him next weekend!

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

Yay Dante!!!! He is so smart. And you are so patient! :D Before I read the part about Sunday I was going to ask if he could be ponied off of another horse into the water so you could just stand around with him in the water, but since he stopped on Sunday and earned his carrot it doesn't matter. Good job!!