Sunday, January 2, 2011

And So It Begins

" Dusty"
The New Year is officially here and it’s time to reevaluate my riding goals.  I long ago let personal goals drop by the wayside simply because I never follow through with them.  Riding goals are a different story, that’s something I can work on with some moderate success.  This year I’ve decided to make it simple, nothing specific to write down or remember, the simpler the goals the easier to keep.  My goal for this year is to work with Dusty and Blue and bring them along slowly and correctly and allow them reach their full potential at this time. 
While this may seem a minimal goal I feel it’s easier to not box myself in with precise movements to be learned or specific dates to have them achieved by.  My feeling is that if you work with the horse you have on any given day you can ascertain what’s needed and proceed from there. So even though it seems an undemanding goal it will still take lots of learning on our parts, the horses and mine. One day at a time, one lesson at a time and hopefully one good experience at a time to develop steps on the ladder of knowledge.
New Year’s Day Ride
There is an old saying/superstition that goes, “whatever you do on New Year’s Day you will do all year long”.  If this is actually true I’m happy to report that Dusty and I had our first ride of the year on Jan. 1, 2011.  However, I’m not thrilled to report that it was dreadful. 
It all started out in the barn with our neighbor’s teenagers tearing up and down their cornfield on snowmobiles.  The racket from the machines was noisy and the extra need to rev the engines was unnecessary, unless you’re a teenage boy of course.  Dusty was dancing around in the aisle on the cross-ties head up, eyes wild with her heart pounding.  Once we got to the arena she was still agitated, so I did something I rarely do, I lunged her for a short time at the trot before I put my foot in the stirrup.
My ride was interesting if nothing else.  Dusty never really calmed down completely but we managed to get a few things accomplished.  After a while we were able to achieve one or two very nice slow paced trot circles in each direction.  During one of these stellar moments Dusty decided to pick up a canter.  Right lead, nice controlled pace so even though it wasn’t asked for I let her go with it.
By the end of the lesson she was still a bit agitated so we cooled down by walking on a long rein.
Even though she was nervous we never progressed to a dangerous situation and we ended up having a decent ride with a wonderful canter thrown in for the New Year.  So thank you Dusty I’m sure many good rides will come our way in 2011!
Until next time
Quote for Today
Even the greenest horse has something to teach the wisest rider.

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