Why Is This Hard For You, I Mean, Yay Progress

Training Journal

If you’re riding a horse, you’ve already won.

One of the action items for my Lemonade List [Finding the Lemonade] is to work on trotting in the pasture. Mission bonus would include cantering and hillwork.

I used to buzz around the pasture all the time with Previous Horse. Warm up? Trot on a long rein along the edge of their field. Cool-down? Go for a walk. Come home from Rolex and feel the need to do conditioning work [Aftermath]? Around we go.

Rodney has not come alongside the idea quite as quickly.

Back to first principles. We would trot from the ring to the near corner. His cow corner [Cow TV]. Treat this as a new thing and introduce him gradually [The Emotional Onion]. We’ve done this before, but a) it was two years ago [XC, Kinda, Sorta, Maybe] & b) going slowly with this horse is never a bad idea. Whatever I think is a small step can always be sliced in to even smaller steps.

Walk back and forth in hand, ring to corner, ring to corner.

Walk path under saddle.

Trot path.

Walk back and repeat.

He did so well on the first pass that at end of second trot, I hung a left and proceeded along the short side to the next corner.

Success! Callooh! Callay!’

On one hand. Victory. He did the planned exercise perfectly. He did an extended version of the exercise that I had not planned. He did the second phase with no introductory walking of the path. Given Rodney’s view of the world, he did excellently.

On the other hand.

Seriously? It takes this much work to trot in your own pasture?

Rodney has lived in this field for 10 years come August. 10 years! He routinely grazes in the back 40. We have walked the entire edge of the pasture in hand more times than I want to count. He has walked around the pasture under saddle.

But trotting?

Trotting is new.

I could *feel* him thinking deeply while we trotted the short side.

Oh well. The rider doesn’t get to choose how the horse reacts.

Stay safe. Stay sane.
Katherine Walcott

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