I am sure almost every horse person can relate to this but those who believe horses don’t see colors are crazy in my opinion. Dixie sees colors very well..to well 🙂 I have begun to incorporate solo trail rides into our rides everyday. It may be a trot around the farm or a trip through the fields but I am building his confidence and making him believe he can be the big bad event horse I know he is.
Last night as we are trotting around we encountered true evil in the form of some tar/blacktop material laid down on the stone driveway that goes all the way around the farm. It was only used to fill in holes so you would ride along and then boom you would run into the black hole of death.
All things considered Dixie is always tame in his reaction so I shouldn’t make so much fun of him but my lord he can be retarded when he wants to be. I had brought along the whip when I know we will be trail riding because part of dealing with his confidence is him respecting my forward aids. If I say go you better be moving right now. He came out braver than ever before. Trotting right past all the evil farm equipment and down the lane. We had went 1/4 mile in a nice trot and he was not looking for things to look at but very intent on trotting. I saw the black stuff before he did and went to the sitting trot and started kicking on. Then he saw the black stuff and we had snorting. It is pretty darn funny seeing this big horse snorting and blowing. He puffs himself all up but he isn’t going anywhere he would rather stop and evaluate the situation. Nope..no stopping. Tap…tap..tap goes the whip and he tiptoes one foot at a time. Now this black stuff is spread out in various places so we would trot on the regular stone driveway and then come to a black spot and he would start prancing but I had him alert and on the aids so he kept on moving. I was proud of him..very big deal for Dixie!
Then we trotted around and trotted right into the ring. Our trot work has become very nice in my opinion. He is steady and reaching for the contact. He moves well off both legs and doesn’t run from leg pressure anymore. He is still strung out in the transitions down so I am really focusing on them. When we transition down he likes to open his mouth and pull me out of the tack. I am trying to do a better job of sitting and closing my leg and keeping the elbows bent but not allowing him to pull down at all. I hold my contact until he softens and then I soften. That works well and by the end of our ride we were transitioning down and he was staying compacted and soft in the bridle.
All that trouble I was having with the right lead and now the right lead is the better lead. He is balanced to the right and able to canter 15 m circles. We have a nice soft right bend. The left is a bit difficult because he struggles to put himself together. I balance him up and the soften to allow him carry himself and then repeat and repeat. I am also doing a ton of transitions in and out of the canter. The upwards are good but the downwards are still rough. I expect this but it is something I am focusing on. To the right we can go from canter to trot and rebalance quickly but to the left he decided when he comes down from the trot he can run around at mach 10 speed with his head in the air. I made the trot circle smaller and did sharp transitions to get the hind end back under.
I plan on doing some jumping today. We got more rain yesterday so the ground was slick and Dixie was my last ride of the day. I ended up finishing up in the dark. The work on our new barn starts today!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I will have all the horses home by the end of the month.