Friday, April 28, 2017

Bella's New Challenge

Shari and I were out on a ride with Bella and Cole.  Shari thought that Bella’s feet might be a little sore because she was riding her so much, and she didn’t have her shoes on, yet.  Once she pointed it out, it seemed that Bella did indeed seem to have tender feet.  We were only going on a short ride, so we continued on.

I had one of those light bulb moments.  Our project for the summer is to train Bella to accept horses in front of her.  She loves to be a leader, and if any other horse is in the lead, she does her best to change that.  She does all right at a walk. We practiced that a lot last year, and as long as Cole walks fast enough, she will allow him to be in front of her or next to her.  It is a different story when we trot.

I decided this would be the perfect day to introduce trotting.

Our first problem was Cole.  He insisted that it was wrong for him to be in front of Bella.  It took a lot of convincing to change his mind.  Once he was in the lead, I told Shari to let me know if she was having trouble.  For the most part, I just heard, “Good girl.  Good girl.”  Shari would periodically click Bella, and then I would click Cole, too.

All went well until we got to the section of the trail where Cole and I like to canter.  Of course, we stayed at a trot, but it was a faster trot.  It was time to challenge Bella.  She lasted longer than I thought, but in the end, she couldn’t take it anymore and she scooted forward.

Just the same, she did awesome.  Our hopes are that the next time that we try this--regardless of the state of her feet--she will remember her positive experience.

We didn’t try it on the way home, because it is unlikely she would tolerate it.  Will our training ride help us in the future?  Stay tuned...

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