Had to share this with you guys.
I had posted about what I can do with Ollie in working trail rides and got great advice. So today we went out and did so much!
This is long so get comfy!
For sure well worth reading though!
Such a great day!!!
Ollie was a superstar!! So happy, proud and excited!!!!
It was spitting rain all day today and I got a late start to the day.
With the arena getting some slick spots and yesterday's ride...whatever that was about, I decided we would attempt a trail ride, a working trail ride.....
Things happen for a reason, this trail ride was supposed to happen!
Wasn't slippery at all and it was our 2nd time out by ourselves so I wasn't expecting much but to get out and stretch, do some trot work and call it good.
We did so much more then that! He was a pro, cars on the road no issue, relised he was alone....meh no problem! So I gathered him up, got him rocked back, walking slower then just our trail ride walk and made him really use his body at the walk down the long driveway to the trails. Went through big puddles and stayed nice and straight. I was really able to just sit and "look pretty" focus on my shoulders and lower leg and keeping my hands up and together and not trying to wander off and take control of one rein or the other. Hit the trail and decided we would do some trot work.
Ollie surprised when I asked him trot on. Wasn't sure it was okay and was a little tense. I got our tempo and took long deep breaths while talking to him and really focused on keeping him coming from behind and within a couple minutes he relaxed into a good working trot. He was using his hind engine and coming through his back and I didn't have to even worry about where it was his head was cause of course if your horse is going correctly and relaxed and you have a good even tempo your horses head will be right where it should be. I could tell he was really having fun. Lots of blowing and snorting. I could really feel the swing in this shoulders and was so easy to sit and wrap my legs around!
Had a few turns and he stayed right with mr, straight and coming through. Started to throw in some trot to walk transitions and he was so relaxed and with me. We where so in sync with each other, just me and him comunicating out in the woods.
Got to the opening and decided he was going so well and conditions of the trail where just fine so I asked him up into canter. This is his first time cantering outside the arena and again like in the trot was unsure, not tense or spooky just a little wiggly and wanted to keep going down into trot as if to say "this is trotting, we where just doing this, thisis what you really mean right?" but I got him into canter each time he broke and that was fine with me.
So then we got a bit of stretch in the walk going and he was really liking that part, got to the hills and decided to play around with that for a few minutes, went up and down and turned around to do it again. Did the big hill 3 times. Slow and on foot at a time, weight rocked back. Same going up. Encouraged him to reach with his neck going up and he took to it really well. I felt good without hill work and think that alone will let him enjoy his day off tomorrow
Then we worked on some walk halts. In the halt he was collected but not overly so, almost had a little stretch with each halt, a nice low round neck and poll. We would stand for about 10-20 seconds and walk on staying round and with each time coming in and out of the trantion I would tap him from behind and ask for the first leg to move to bea hind and felt like iwas really getting that and in a relaxed but very foccused on me at at the same time. Again the let him have a long rein for a bit till we had looped back around to where we started to canter. Decided to try some canter again. Hoped to have more tempo and him really coming from behind.
This part of the trail is much wider, littler harder ground but not something that would make his feet tender.
It's a small turning incline that then slowly goes down and then narrows, with two ways to to. Left to the hills after some flat ground. Right to do the very short loop back to the driveway we started on.
So I got him up into canter, he was there! Right with me. Really coming from behind! Picure perfect! It felt so great! Our tempo was so nice, relaxed and just so great in every way! I wasn't holding him back or really asking to to GO but we where just together! Round and using his back!
really some of the BEST canter I have ever gotten from him! I know I was grinning from ear to ear and sounded so stupid telling him what a smart good boy he was!
I deicded to push him a little further and took the left turn in the canter and went a little further on the flat part of the till it started narrowing in and halted him. Gave him a hug, sugar and lots of scratches! He was so happy and proud of himself and still so relaxed!
So on the flat part we turned around to go back. I decided to try to trot to canter trantions till we got to the small decline. He was again with me, a little more go then we needed but had a few good trantions up and down! More scratches and sugar!
Then coming around the bend we ran into a jogger and his dog....no spook no spin. I just halted him, patted him and talked to the jogger who had stopped and stopped him dog. Ollie sniffed the dog and I said thank you and we where back to buissnes. Did some more trantions and then let him have a long rein most of threat back.
When we got back to the long drive way to the road I decide to see if we had trot halts in us..... Sure did! Was just so happy! Every thing I asked of him he came through and did a great job at! I wasnt tense so he wasn't. I was any bit worried so he wasn't. I was eager and just enjoying every moment of the ride and so was he! I swear if a horse could smile he would have been grinning ear to ear....kind if a funny mental image there
This little horse just seems to surprise me with rides like this. I had high hopes it would just be a enjoyable relaxing ride to just get him out and expected him to maybe spook a little since it was his only 2nd time out alone and the 1st to spooked and spun 90% of it lol
He came through for me 110% with 5 stars and the best working attitude i have seen in him!
So that was today....he will get tomorrow off. He got worked quite a bit this week and I feel great about it. Now I just have to keep with it.
So I was able to snap a couple photos on this wonderful ride! Excuse the foamy lipstick, he was working the bit in his mouth with all the sugar he kept getting got got being the best boy ever!
Love this shot. Saved it as my lock screen on my IPad
End of the ride, good boy stretching for his sugar. As well as looking rather adorable!
All bundled up for the cold day :) still can't get this stupid smile off my face! So happy!
As if to say, "Thanks mom! That was so much fun! Lets go again!!"
That's all for today. Going out to groom and hand graze tomorrow :)
You can fallow us and our training progress by going to our thread for this winter :) 2012-2013 Oliver's Winter Training Jurnal