Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Savannahs first trail ride

Saturday, July 10, 2010

After having Savannah, my 4 year old TWH, for 2 weeks, and getting along pretty well, I needed to get my new girl on the trails to see what she would do. She has been ridden mainly in the NW Iowa hills, so I knew she has seen a lot of terrain. Being a little
goosey about rustling noises, I took time to desensitize her and for us to get to know each other.

In the outdoor arena, I rustled the trees as I rode by them. We rode over the logs, both at the walk and the trot. We worked on the gate.

I wanted to go somewhere close, with only another rider or 2. I met up with Sandy at Br Oak this morning. My friend Dianna was going to meet us with her gaited horse but couldn't get there as early as we wanted to ride. We rode for 3 hours, and over 10 miles, I think. My GPS shut off at one point and I missed 20 min. After only a few jumps, we did great! Even at a walk we were covering ground, and after a while the walk seemed slow. It was fun to go gaited, as we went from one end of the lake to the other in 2 hours, and rode back out for another hour. 3 hours went by very fast. Sandy said it was because we were moving faster. :-)))

Sandy, (on a different horse than what she rode on Saturday).

I am really pleased about how well she rode and how well she led. We will need to work on the lope, which is now a run. Branched Oak lake has great wide mowed paths, besides many small trails among the trees. We decided to lope the wide paths. I had Sandy lope first and get a little in front of me, since Savannah doesn’t easily want to go into the lope. She started off very fast, and I slowed her down to a walk, after she threw in a kick after about a minute of loping the first time. We started loping again, and she threw in another kick after loping over some small sticks laying in the path. This wasn’t because the horse was too far in front of her. We were actually within 20 or 30” of the other horse. We walked some more, and loped 1 more time. This time I kept more contact on the reins and asked for a slower loped, even if it caused her to break to a gaited trot. I think she just needs to lope a little slower and more collective than strung out. We’ll get there.

(Hubby Tom just got home and I need to power wash and clean out my trailer and pack with tack and clothing to take to Grand Island. I'll have a vendor booth set up out there Mon-Wed noon for the State 4-H Horse Show. Even if you don't have kids showing, come over and see me. You might have to park at the far end of the arena barn and walk up to where the vendors are).

(I’m back. I sitting outside by my trailer at Grand Island. That is amazing that I can sit outside, as each year, it is standard and expected for temps to be in the high 90’s here. I’m not even sure it’s 85. It’s beautiful in the shade, and the breeze is actually cool. It’s making me want to nap. I’ve just sat out a few tack items in case people want to shop. I’m being lazy today, since I’m here for 3 days. It will take me an hour or longer to set out each morning, and that long to tear down each evening. I don’t have a sales trailer, just my horse trailer converted to hauling tack. Usually with the heat, I’m exhausted after 2 days. )

Anyways, back to Savannah and our ride. Actually, to some training that we needed to do at the end of the ride. I needed to have a trailer loading session with Savannah. She loaded reluctantly at home, with Tom's help, then needed "help" after our trail ride. A little bit of lunging then I asked her to go in. Finally she did. Well...once I got home, that big girl went to work. I unloaded, and because of her loading issues today and because she started backing out sooner than I wanted her to, we went back to loading up again. After about 5 minutes of lunging and asking, and lunging and asking, etc, she went in. Left her stand, petted her, backed her out, then asked right away to go back in. She refused, so back to lunging and asking, etc. This took only 2 or 3 times. Petted her some, then backed out, and once again, I asked to go right back in. She did without hesitating, and went so far in, her chest was rubbing the manger. lol

They say to work things in 3's, and it worked with her.

I guess we better be working on this before the next trail ride.

Come ride with me, gaited or stock horse, I can go either way now!

Embrace the Journey!

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