Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Bella out on the Trail, Again
Bella out on the Trail, Again
Due to Shari’s work schedule and crummy weather, Bella didn’t get out on the trail for about 3 weeks. She had a day off, and the weather was decent, so we met for a trail ride.
Cole has been getting out on the trail sporadically, so it wasn’t a big deal for him. Bella was so happy to see him! We got down the hill in an ordinary fashion, and then Shari turned her towards the river. Bella said, “No way!” We had a huge pile of ice chunks along the river’s edge. Kevin was able to clear a path through them. Bella was so worried about the chunks that she refused to take a step forwards. In fact, she thought backwards was a great idea.
Cole to the rescue. He showed her the way, and proved it was safe for horses. Bella willingly followed him through the ice. We then crossed the river with ease.
Once on the other side, we did a little trotting, but Bella was fractious. She would spook or jump about. Over the summer, I would stop Cole, immediately, whenever she would act up. When he listened, I would click and treat him. He has now gotten to the point where he will pretty much stop on his own whenever Bella has a problem.
We ended up mostly walking, but that was only Cole walking. Bella just jigged.
There was a woman in the woods with a dog--that scared Bella. I recognized the woman from the week before. She is clicker training her dog to get used to horses. I explained it to Shari, and she suggested that the woman slowly bring her dog closer to us--clicking him while she was clicking Bella. The dog acted well and Bella was no longer afraid of him. She said she wanted to have a horse, someday. We told her that when she does--not to forget that she could use clicker training with horses, too.
We rode on to the next river crossing and turned around there to go home. As has happened in the past, Bella did much better on the way home. This gave Shari the opportunity to start clicking Bella for walking quietly. The more she got clicked, the better she did. I was clicking Cole, too, just because he was being such a good boy.
We crossed the river, and Bella saw the ice chunks. This time, instead of being scared, she walked up to the and sniffed them. Shari clicked her for it. She then turned her to the river bank where she had to walk up the path through the ice chunks. We followed. Bella took one step and then launched into the air and got to the top of the bank in one leap. Well, that is what it looked like to me. Cole saw her two back hooves flying out, and he thought he was going to be kicked. He spun the other way. Shari was surprised by the leap, but she was laughing, as was I. The rest of the trip home was uneventful.
The weather is going to take a turn for the worst, again. The temperatures are plummeting, and the river will quickly freeze. Hopefully, we will get some chances to get Bella out; at least on the hill, now and then. That way, she won’t be too over excited in the spring.