Horsey Therapist

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A trail ride with friends

It has been a long time since I loaded up one of our horses and joined a friend for a trail ride. I did this today.

I was a little nervous before we got started, with fleeting images of past rides when I felt the need to be firm to keep us out of trouble. I worried that the progress I have made and the increased softness and responsiveness that Rusty has made would fly out the window. But heading out with one other rider and one other horse -- ones with whom we have ridden before and are sympatico regarding horsemanship -- seemed like a good opportunity to enjoy a ride.

Indeed we did enjoy a ride.

I was pleased how well it went. Rusty was responsive, forward, interested in our surroundings, mostly respectful to the other horse. He wanted to chew on his rump but I used the same 'liven up to urge him to think about something else' approach to dealing with this as I've been using at home and it worked well, and allowed me to redirect his mind without involving the reins.

We rode for 1 1/2 hours, took about a 1/2 hour water and lunch break, and rode for another hour. Up hill, down hill, through woods, along dirt roads, along a very overgrown and unmaintained roadway, over some water, and through a field. Light wind, air temps about 70 -- ideal!

This informs one of my earlier wonderings: How would what I was doing at home with my horses translate to other settings?

It translates nicely!

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