Tailgating, Virtual Tevis Style

Training Journal

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

Awareness of the outside world. Wear a helmet. This includes presumptive Presidential candidates. Yes, I am a one-note wonder. No, I will never stop.
~~~


Rodney really does follow that close. Seriously, Rodney rides up so close that one time he tripped and just about faceplanted on Milton’s hindquarters. Milton doesn’t seem to mind.

Except.

At the end of one of our long rides, Milton kept stopping. Although I couldn’t see anything other than his fuzzy, grey butt, I got the distinct message of a tired and cranky horse saying, ‘Enough already. Don’t crowd me.’ When this didn’t work, he turned and gave us an absolutely evil mare glare. I suggested that Rodney ease on back a bit.

In general, they are cool with swapping out who leads and who follows. When Milton leads, Rodney has to take it down several gears to stay behind. I try to convince him that the speed is the same a few feet back versus riding on Milton’s rear fender. That works as well as you would expect.

When Rodney leads, his long legs keep him out in front. Except going uphill. Rodney tends to dog it, while Milton likes to use momentum to defeat gravity. I have to give Rodney a small reminder to keep the pace uphill.

They have a few rules. Of course they do.

Milton leads the first lap. After that, Rodney is a complete star about taking the lead. I guess he wants Milton to clear out the cougars, or possibly the cobwebs. He’d also prefer that Milton take the lead on the reverse, but that’s because he is busy complaining about the steepness of the hill in that direction.

When we swap the lead, Milton comes to a stop. If he’s waiting, he’s cool with Rodney going by. He hates to be passed on the move. We think it brings back his unsuccessful racing days.

Milton also dislikes riding side-by-side. Rodney in front, fine. Rodney behind, even violating-his-personal-space behind, fine. Rodney pulling alongside the slightest bit? Activate Ears! So much for strolling along together, letting the humans chat.

Rodney has been known to put on a burst of speed when they are walking next to each other. It is the only time he offers an 8 walk. Brat.

They don’t like to be out of sight of each other, or even think they might be left behind. That one is at least normal. We’ll work on extending the anxiety limit.

Virtual Tevis. Keeping us amused one mile at a time.

Stay safe. Stay sane.
Katherine Walcott

Categories: Horses

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