Thursday, June 12, 2014

Missy Takes a Ride on Dante

Missy Takes a Ride on Dante

Sometimes I think that everyone’s goal when riding with me it to not turn into a blog post—unless it is a boring “we had a wonderful time” blog post. I know that is Ellen’s goal. Well this one isn’t about Ellen but my niece, Missy.

She is going to come out with me once a week in the evening until she goes to college in August, and she has graduated not just from high school but from Ranger to Dante. She rode Dante plenty in the arena over the winter, so they certainly aren’t strangers to each other, but it was time to start taking him on the trail. I would be riding Cole, of course.

He led down the street for her perfectly. He went down the hill and across the river without a problem. We were going to go the easy way to the second river crossing. Wherever we could, we trotted. Cole led, and as he always does, the further we got down the trail, the faster he went. It was a good way to get Missy used to Dante’s trail trot. When we got to the section of the trail where I often canter Cole, I told her Dante may try to canter because Cole will trot there pretty fast. He has with Ellen. She could either stop him or let him—it was up to her. As predicted, he went into his lovely canter, and they were doing well until he got a little too close to a tree for her comfort. She then had him trot, but she really liked his canter.

On the way home, he was perfect. I had her trot in the lead to keep the speed under control. Overall, it was a totally perfect ride—so I suggested passing up home and going to the access trail. After all, I hadn’t gotten a thing to writ about, yet.

To get there, we have to pass up the river crossing, go a short distance to a street, cross, go up a short, steep hill, down a long sloping hill and then the trail splits. One way goes to the Lagoon and the other way dead ends out at the street. We call that the access trail—because that is all it is. It gives the park access to the bridle trails with their trucks when the river is over the ford.

I warned Missy that Dante may try to turn home. To pass the river, I kept Cole between Dante and the bank. Dante tried to turn, but Cole thwarted him. Once we got past, Dante got a carrot. A few steps later—he tried to turn. Missy circled him and sent him on his way. We trotted to the street. A large herd of bikes were going down the road, so we had to wait. Then, there was a string of traffic. Dante decided waiting was dumb and going home was a better idea, so he turned around. Once again, Missy kept him turning.

Next time I glanced back, I saw them walking away down the bike trail that parallels the street. He got pretty far before she could turn him and bring him back. When he got to the trail, he turned down it to go home. Once again, she got him facing the right direction. Finally, we could cross the street. Dante stopped at the bottom of the hill and refused to go forward. He simply ignored her kicks. I got off to try to lead him, but Cole kept getting in the way. I told her it was time for her to get off. She had no trouble leading him up the hill where she remounted.

When we got to the access trail, I suggested that Dante go first because I thought Cole would be excited, but Dante wouldn’t take the lead. I said I would lead. I asked Cole to trot, and in an instant we were galloping down the trail. Several instants later, I got him to stop. Dante decided that he would canter, but Missy had no trouble bringing him back to a trot. I tried again, but Cole surged ahead. This just wasn’t working. We walked to nearly the end, and then I asked for a quiet trot and got it. We turned around to go home and Dante was perfect the rest of the way.

When Dante misbehaves, he slowly states his opinion and it isn’t scary. When Cole misbehaves—he does it with style. Missy said he looked beautiful. Fortunately, he doesn’t scare me very often, since he usually stops very readily if he is out on the trail. In the arena, it is another matter—all the more reason to trail ride.

Missy really liked her time with Dante, and she will be back out next week.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

I really hope Chrome states his opinion like Dante, but I have a feeling he's going to be more like Cole lol.

Chrome does that trying to turn around thing (well you saw in my post about it) which gets annoying fast!! He was being balky today while I was hand walking him on the road and I finally got irritated and longed him in a circle at a trot (don't like doing that on asphalt....), but it got his attention and he start paying attention again. Sheesh young horses!!