Wednesday, May 25, 2011

4th Ride with the Colt

Yesterday was just a trail ride kind of day. I saddled the colt, and jumped on cold back. We warmed up in the front pasture, and then headed to the trails, with James riding Lola for company.

We did one of our easier, traditional trails first. And along the way, the grullo freaked a little with some big landscape rocks. You know, the ones that are big to prevent cars from driving on the grass. I guess he suspected there was something lurking around them, because he startled in place, and then was slow to approach them. I HAD been asking him to walk right between them...what was I thinking, huh? But he is a very curious horse, and so he approached and then sniffed and kind of licked the rock. Then he snorted and was quickly over his fear. We then proceeded to weave in and out of these rocks without further difficulty.

We encountered trash cans and trash bags billowing in the wind along the trail, and he encountered each new thing with curiosity rather than fear, and I gave him all the time in the world to check these things out and satisfy himself. Once he had completed his investigation, the object held no further fear for him.

We walked and trotted a lot on this trip. There was no cantering. I was encouraging him to walk faster. He has a wonderfully smooth trot, and I alternated between sitting his trot and posting his trot. Posting his trot is easy and requires very little effort. He is improving daily and moving in a straight line and maintaining his speed.

He kept his head a little higher this ride, due to all the interesting things there were to see. This allowed me to give him some bit pressure and remind him to lower his head to the pressure. He responded well. I didn't do more than ask for it down and then release immediately. Later, I'll ask for longer and longer stretches of vertical flexion from him, but this was a ride designed to get him excited about trail riding, and not a strict training/punishing ride. We did practice our one rein stops and there was plenty of lateral flexion exercises as well to remind him to stay soft.

I'm out of the saddle for the next 2 days, but hopefully he'll get some more riding time on Friday and the weekend.

We seem to be making progress daily.

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