Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Rockin' It on the Trails

Amazingly, after riding Lostine, I still had the energy to ride another horse.  Riding my shortest horse didn't give my knee any problems, so I tried out my tallest horse.

Finally, a shadow that makes me look smaller than my horse.

On the way out, we were just about to step out onto the road when a little car came racing up the street.  When the driver saw us, instead of just coming to a stop and letting us cross, he decided that he couldn't wait.  So, he whipped his car around, drove right through my next door neighbor's front yard, pulled a U-ey on his property, and sped off.  I was like, "Seriously?  Did you just do that?"

I mean, most of us don't have lawns, but that doesn't mean it's okay to just tear up someone's front yard, especially when there are public turnouts all along the other side of the street by the desert.

The ground is green, I'm telling ya.  It's green...

Rock did pretty well for not being ridden in a while.  He was excited about all the yummy-ness around him, and I had to work hard to keep him moving along.  After being corrected for snatching eats a few times, he focused on the trail.

We also worked on not hesitating.  He expects people and animals to be out in the desert now, and if he sees a branch waving up ahead on the trail or hears children playing on the school playground, he stops to survey the situation.  I don't want him doing that anymore.  Being a lookout is not his job.  So, he got a few good kicks.

Once we turned toward home, we had to work on slowing down, stopping, and waiting patiently -- the opposite of what we worked on heading away from home.  When we first got Rock, he walked so slowly that I couldn't believe he had been a barrel horse in a previous life.  However, now he can really move out, and I think the difference is the care that my farriers have been giving to his feet.  Rock has a really wide range of walking speeds.  He now can walk as fast as most horses can trot, or he can dawdle and drive you crazy with his wandering, so I worked on letting him know that I liked the middle speed the best.

When we got home I rode him around the property just to do something different and mess with his expectations.  This is a good time to ride on the property because my husband just cleared most of the weeds and the rattlesnakes haven't come out yet.  We rode through rattling weeds around the round pen.  Rock wanted to walk right up into our manure trailer, but I didn't think the metal gate could hold his weight, so I steered him around it...

We rode up the alley between my riding arena and the neighbor's driveway...

Riding toward the barn, we got to watch Gabbrielle and the ravens interacting with each other...

We finally did stop at the patch of grass in front of us, and I let him graze for being such a good student.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  Rock has always shown an interest in my water bottle when I take a swig after dismounting.  I hold it up to him, he sniffs it, and then looks away.  I decided to stick it in the corner of his mouth to see what he would do, and he acted like he was familiar with drinking water out of a bottle.  I poured a little in his mouth and he drank it.  Now, of course, I've got wild ideas about training him to hold a bottle in his mouth and tip it back by himself to drink.  It would come in handy on longer trail rides where there are no watering holes.

3 comments:

Kate said...

Idiot drivers, gah! But awesome that the rest of the ride went great! :)

fernvalley01 said...

sounds like a lovely ride except the careless fool in the car

achieve1dream said...

Hehehe that's funny about the water bottle! You should totally teach him that! I had a goat that used to steal dad's beer and tip it back and drink the whole thing LOL!!!