A Series Of Turtle Steps

Training Journal


Turtle step are milestones when one is bumbling around in the intro-basement, leaping up in an attempt to catch the bottom rung of the ladder in any given discipline.

That was overly negative.

Turtle step are milestones when one is proceeding at the speed of an attack glacier.


Turtle steps are milestones when one is proceeding at a pace dictated by the horse’s learning speed and comfort level.

Herein, our turtle steps for the holiday travel spree [A Series of Ears].

Wednesday, July 3. Milton at Stepping Stone Farm. Lesson. Two beautiful canter transitions! One as good as we have been doing lately. The other perfect. Canter. Okay. Step off in the next stride. Leading to a terrific canter with even a bit of powering down the long side. All of this after I get done telling Coach Courtney that we have been having trouble with our transitions lately. Horses. They make liars out of us.

I wish I could take credit for the improvement. It is from the long-lining. I have become a huge fan of this training method. Allows horses to sort things out before introducing the complication of carrying a rider.

Thursday, July 4. Milton at Falcon Hill Farm. Schooling in the field. Walk and little trot in the grassy field/parking area behind the ring. Counts as out in the open for Milton. Rode at a trot over a little loglet. In the photo, Milton is avidly watching a jogger on the road, which is an excellent excuse to stand rather than work. Photo below from lunging that day.

Friday, July 5. Rodney at Stepping Stone Farm. Schooling in the covered ring. Canter! My eyes-on-the-ground said, ‘Why don’t you canter?’ I went to pick up a trot & Rodney cantered. The disadvantages of a horse who knows voice commands. A few lovely strides, then it got discombobulated and he downshifted on his own. I’ll take coming back to a trot as a response to problems.

Omitted from yesterday’s post. July 5, II. Milton. Home. Walk around field. One in hand. Two escorted. Last one by self! Photo taken during escorted lap. Milton was great, but I didn’t want to take a hand off the wheel during our solo lap. The feeling I got was ‘Ohh scary, but …. I think … I can … handle it.’

Saturday, July 6. Milton at Falcon Hill Farm. Schooling among the trees & up/down hills. More work “in the open”. Milton thinks hills are weird.

Sunday, July 7, I. Rodney at Stepping Stone Farm. Reverse ears. Never got on. Ride got rained out. Weather was clear. Got to SSF. As we tacked up, the sky darkened to a seriously nasty gray, and the radar lit up. At the moment, Rodney makes a few feints before he loads. We didn’t want to be dealing with that in heavy rain. We bailed. A branch blew down from a tree near the ring. A small branch, but enough to raise a welt if it hit one on the head. Okay. Okay. We’re leaving. A red splotch followed us home on the radar. As soon as we got home, the sky cleared and the radar settled down. The oncoming storm vanished. Well played, Rodney. Well played.

Sunday, July 7, II. Milton at Falcon Hill Farm. Lesson. Cantered an entire a 1’6″/1’9″ course!

Monday, July 8. Rodney at Stepping Stone Farm, redux. Make-up day. Schooling in the big ring. Moved up to the big ring. Walk and trot with smooth transitions. No trace of the anxiety he had the last time I rode him in this ring.

So that’s us. Making progress and getting nowhere, all at the same time.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

3 thoughts on “A Series Of Turtle Steps

  1. Liked seeing Milton over the big branch. 🙂 Seriously, it sounds like you’re making progress. Remember the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise won.

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