Heading Out

The whole purpose of this video is that stop. The first one a couple of seconds in. Look at his butt drop. His head goes up just a hair but not because I’m pulling on him. The reins barely even move, when they do it’s my tendency to raise my hands, not because I’m pulling. I think after that we do a very lackluster rollback. But it’s all about the stop.

We’ve had some really good rides lately. I tie him up to groom and saddle, he’s coming around to that nicely. Then we do a little ground work and go for a walk. First we would circle the chicken coup. It’s scary back behind there. Then we started going down the little hill into the dump, make a circle, then come back up the hill. I threw in some whoas on the hill and at the top and bottom for extra interest.

We have been working on our Spanish walk, yay! But after we finish some arena work I’ve been letting him make the loop around the chicken coup. He has started wanting to head that way himself, he wanders around and looks at the scary things. Ever since his total meltdown when I tried to ride him in the fields North of the house I haven’t asked him to leave the arena. Him wanting to venture out was a big step forward and I loved that it was him who asked to take it. Today when I told him he could go he followed the tracks of our pre ride walk exactly. He went to the hill above the dump and asked to walk down it. It is the steepest hill we’ve ridden down and it was a little scary for both of us I think. He did great though and walked on around the branch we go around every time, then back up the hill. I cheered him on the whole way. After that he went on towards the shop, up to the gas tank and sniffed it. I was dishing treats out like crazy.

On our last ride I had given him his head and he walked happily through the yard past all the things I think should be scary and to the “good” patch of grass clear south. I thought the grazing was good positive reinforcement for going out on a ride and apparently he did too. We headed back to the same place. It was a fairly meandering rout, we stopped to look at the other horses, checked out the equipment, spooked lightly at scary spots on the road. I did my best to stay completely neutral in the saddle and let him go. He takes much more steering when I ask him to go home.

I can’t overstate the soft feel of this horse. He is so soft and responsive. Of course he is also as wiggly as a worm when he doesn’t know exactly what is being asked. The slightest little shift and he responds. It sounds silly. It’s hard to explain. He’s just fun to ride.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *