After not riding most of the last few months due to other responsibilities, Tobias and I are back into conditioning in preparation of fall riding in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.
Yesterday, we mostly trotted and cantered around our local trail, Dawson Butte counterclockwise and then clockwise, covering about eight to ten miles. Other than a minor disagreement about going again when we were so near the trailer, it was a fabulous day. The rain held off, there was a cool, crisp breeze, leaves are beginning to change. With pannier bags added to his regular cantle bag on his English saddle for anticipated gear, Tobias is moving beautifully and willingly, stepping over large logs, jumping over a few small jumps, passing other horses and riders, and even a stroller. Lookin’ good.
Today, I thought we’d just head out on line to the open space down the road. Tobias backed up steep hills, trotted up and down ravines, ate some grass. All was good until I asked him for a quick transition to right-lead canter. While I was being dragged around without gloves, doing my best to stay upright and not to let go of the last couple of inches of my hand-made 13-foot, half-inch, lightweight yacht braid rope as his 1200 pounds bucked and reared, I was thinking, “Oh, you think so, huh, big guy! Don’t think I’ll give up that easily!”
When we finally came to a stop, Tobias raised his head, flared his nostrils, blew and called for any equines nearby to rescue him.
“Thanks for the information, ” is a piece of advice I got from trainer Patrice Edwards. In that moment, Tobias told me that his “partner” had just turned into a “predator”.
Instead of pushing him back into a canter, “dammit!” — I brought down my energy, caught my breath (which took a few minutes), pet him, then asked him for a walk, then a trot and then a lovely right-lead canter. He got a carrot and we continued — as partners.
Now, I think I’ll find some ice for my rope-burned fingers — such is the continuous learning process.
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