Trail Ride and Canter Review

Doug and I just got back from a trail ride on the beach behind our house. We took Savanah and Dan, my appaloosa. We used to go alot, but have been so wrapped up in dressage this is our first time this summer. We HAVE to get out more! It's good for the horses, and for us.
Here are a few pictures:

I just stuck the last picture in because you can't really see Dan well in the 2 beach photos of him, and I never write about him. This picture was taken last summer. He loves trails, hates dressage. I'm thinking the solution may be to practice dressage on the trails :) Honestly he'll go forever. He fights not to turn for home! I've never known another horse to do this. The down side is that he HATES working in the ring. It is such hard work to get him to go forward in the slightest. Point him at a trail though and you have a big striding, forward, eager sweetie. I was reading someone's blog the other night about finding the horse that likes to do what you want to do, and I thought, hmmm. Poor Dan has only been ridden about 4 times in the last year because I've been totally wrapped up in training Rogo in dressage and just don't have the time or energy to train Dan in something he doesn't want to be trained in. But.... I like trail rides and so does he. So I won't dread it and neither will he if we just go trail riding. I'm the type that likes riding goals and improvement (ha ha - no kidding - guess this explains the dressage!), so I'll have to set trail goals. Dan is very willing and will climb anything you point him at, but he isn't big on going through water (he will, but it needs work), etc. Maybe we can start learning a few obstacles and having some fun, instead of me trying to force him to do dressage or leaving him alone. We'll see. My ambition may peter out... It would be ideal if I could find someone who appreciated him and wanted to ride him.
Joan was down this morning and gave Doug and I a lesson in the kitchen. No, we weren't cooking (God help us if Joan was teaching us that! :) We had our bridles on the back of chairs and were reviewing the canter aids, from the initial half halt, to carrying it after the transition. Joan is a perfectionist, so each detail and nuance was discussed and reviewed - the half halt, inside and outside leg positions at each stage, hands, contact, flexion, gaiting, timing with the outside hind, ... I rode Rogo afterward on my own and our transitions were improved. They had started to get sloppy since he was carrying it more. Maybe I was rushing him into it in my zeal to keep him in it. Anyway, we slowed the trot for a step or two and then calmly picked up the correct lead canter with each ask. He is responding to my aids to carry it longer and to steering as well, so I'm pretty happy about that. It was the perfect time for a review.
Looking back, it was a great day. A lesson with Joan, two good rides - it doesn't get any better.


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Jeni said…
Great trail ride!!!! They can be so relaxing! Your horses are beautiful...

Have you ever tried to get a Draft horse to canter??? LOL it takes A LOT of work to get them to work!
allhorsestuff said…
HUH! Yet another thing in common! My mare hates the arena riding and the intricacies of Dressage. I recently took the online horse personality test every one has been linking on their blogs...she is a "Rock Star"...translation..loves to show you what she can do but dislikes the details of learning!

Your Appy ears look just like my sissy's mares..she has the cutest little appy ears!

Yes...dressage on the trails...I do it all the time..shoulder in here...sidepass there..even a passage!(usually not asked for but I have been developing it!)
what a beautiful place to go riding at!
Carol said…
Thanks for the comments!
I want to see pictures of Rosie cantering! :)
Now I'm encouraged to try dressage on the trails. Also, I've never looked at Appy ears from this angle before. They ARE cute. Much neater than the big Hanoverian ears on Rogo lol
It was a beautiful evening for a ride. There was even a little rainbow at one point (it's just over the point in the 1st picture if you look really hard:) )
Stacy Pitcher said…
I know you really enjoyed the trail ride. It helps to "mix it up" a little bit.
Carol said…
Stacy - I tried to comment on your site, but it won't open the comment option. I wanted to tell you - circles ARE hard!
SprinklerBandit said…
Yay for Dan! It's great when a horse really, truly loves something, and even better when his owner is willing to go along with it.