Saturday, September 7, 2013

Lesson and Solo Trail Ride

Golly and I heading down the trail
I had a lesson this weekend that we did at our local park and the weather was so nice that I decided to go on a trail ride afterwards.  As we approached the woods, I realized its been a good year, or maybe two, since we have done a solo trail ride.   Golly was not thrilled about turning away from the trailers to head toward the trails.  He jigged and did his best to turn away.  Stopped in place.   Backed up.   And generally did his best to evade going that way. 

I stuck with what we had been practicing -- providing firm steady pressure as long as he was going backwards or holding still and then neutral soft legs the second he took a step forward.   Reins stayed fairly neutral the entire time, just ensuring that he kept his head facing the woods.

In less than five minutes, we made it the trail head and we started down the path.  The second we entered the woods, he calmly moved forward and the rest of the ride was on the buckle and at a steady but relaxed pace.  Even when a hawk came swooping out of a tree, he startled slightly but kept on his steady pace. 

I had forgotten how nice it was to be alone with your horse in the woods.  Its like taking a walk with your best friend.    Its even better when the temps are in the 70s in there is no humidity!

Definitely need to repeat this again very soon.  All weekend I've had a warm fuzzy feeling of happiness and appreciation for the good reliable horse that I have the privilege of owning.  Riding with friends is fun but riding with just you and your horse is good too!

Begging for treats after our ride
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