I’m a believer in good trail rides to teach horses how to go forward and how to canter. We haven’t been able to get out much due to weather but we are on a roll here lately.
I decided to take Shoes on his first trail ride today. Kurt always rides Junior who is an excellent lead horse. Junior will go anywhere and doesn’t mind the bouncing babies being silly. Earlier this spring, I had a lovely mare who couldn’t quite figure out the canter in the ring and we would go out and Kurt would pick up a canter and get far enough out in front of me that she decided she should canter instead of trot and sure enough a few of those rides and we suddenly had a canter. It’s an easy no fuss way of teaching young horses and making it fun for them.
I wasn’t sure what I would have with Shoes today but I was confident I had put all the right basics in and he was ready. He was amazing! He looked at things but was quite brave and really relaxed. He was a tad bit nervous when I first got on so we picked up the trot right away and just let him trot until he relaxed. I believe the best thing is always to let them go forward and don’t make them more nervous by holding them back. If you have to trot or canter for the first 10 min then go ahead and do so. Eventually, they do learn it’s no biggie and relax. He had such a lovely trot and was so soft and balanced. I just love riding him because he gives you such a great feel. Sits so nicely in your hand never pulling and a lovely soft mouth.
I wanted to work on the canter so I had Kurt pick up the canter and just followed in behind him. The first canter was just so good and he had no behavior at all. I got up in my 2pt and rested my hands on his neck and just let him go. He was so light and balanced.
On the way home, we tried another canter and he was a bit silly wanting to buck. He did a few bucks and then I gave him a good yank and he stopped and cantered nicely after that. I had Kurt do multiple transitions back and forth between trot and canter and I would follow in each time teaching Shoes it’s just no big deal and to just relax and he really figured it out. We had a really long canter and Kurt and I were all smiles.
Wow, it was just so great and Shoes was really proud of himself. Junior was also perfect and did a great job giving us a nice confidence boosting ride.
I really feel like I have a talented horse on my hands who is going to be super fancy. He isn’t the easiest horse but there is nothing complicated about him. It’s just teaching him his new job and getting him focused in on working and not being silly. With a steady program he is really going to shine. I’m eager to show him off and hope to start doing some more jumping soon.