I got to haul Rusty over and ride with a friend at an indoor arena. It’s only a few miles away and we are lucky to have, nearly, an open invitation to come ride, so why don’t we ever go? Good question, we’re going to start. Not having a trailer of our own and the whole kid thing are little impediments but surely we can work around that. The day had started out warm but was cooling quickly in preparation for our blizzard that is blowing in. We pulled in to mud, lots of mud, and had to park far away to unload horses and children. It was a mad rush to get saddled and inside where it was warmer. The kids went up on the horses to get to the arena. Paula took them and I led a crazed Rusty and carried arm fulls of stuff.
We made it to the arena without anyone dyeing. Always a plus. Rusty was still crazed, all the more so I should say. Paula took the kids, got them helmeted and in the arena on their horses. Rusty pawed and swung around and stirred up dust. Paula lead Coyote around and kept taking care of the kids, Rusty looked at things, snorted, spooked and bounced off the end of the rope. Paula turned Gus loose and cleaned up some things in the arena while the kids did an amazing job of not getting killed. I am very proud of my fearless son and the job he did riding Coyote around all by himself! What very good boys they are. The girls were a bit whiny and clingy, one was whiny because the other was clingy. She didn’t want to have to steer her own horse, she couldn’t get her to leave me, and so on. They did good for the most part though, when she could get Onna to follow Coyote and her three year old brother who could steer his own horse. Rusty calmed down enough to do some tricks.
They finally got tired of riding and wanted off. We tied the very well behave Onna, who can stand tied by herself, at the hitching post and left Coyote in the arena. The kids climbed hay bales and I got on Rusty. Paula got on Coyote. She filmed a little. We trotted circles until Rusty stopped with the head tossing and tiny attempts at bucking. We even loped our first actual circles!! It’s amazing what you can do on good footing. Once he stopped with his silly attempts at bucking he did very nicely. I kept it short because someone was terrorizing her red heeler, seriously not a good idea, rotten kid. The dog refrained from biting and we stopped so I could do some yelling.
Then we discussed training practices. She offered some really good ideas and pointers and even refrained from saying anything mean about me and my weird clicker training. Instead of criticizing it she told me when I ought to click and when I should wait. Like the time I clicked him mid buck as we came out of a rollback. Yeah, I’d say she was right about that one. She pointed out that I need to sit deeper and push more with my seat as I ask him to rollback into the fence. I thought about it as we practiced it again later, after the poor horse had caught his breath from trotting two circles. Then I sat and used my outside leg more, I realized I had mostly been letting it hang. It was great to have someone to ride with besides children.
In way to short of time the kids were wore out and ready to go. We repeated the same mad rush back to the pickup and trailer where the horses happily leapt in. It was incredibly nice of Paula to let us come ride with her and to help us so much when she didn’t even ride, her own horse that is. For some reason she said she had fun, such good manners, I don’t see how she could have, and she even asked us to come do it again. I can’t wait until we are able to!
The kids doing a wonderful job of riding!
Rusty being very Rotten and so good all at the same time
- With Bells On
- Heavy Training