Our Journey to the Trails

Hello Everyone,

It’s been a while since I last posted, so I felt an update was necessary! 

Guinness and I have been working hard over the winter (winter, what winter?!?!) to prepare ourselves for the trails this 2012 summer season!

He’s turning 5 in June, and I can tell you he’s ready to explore the wilds beyond the arena; I’m thinking that he’s going to be a great trail horse because he LOVES exploring and being curious!

So, our first step is to get him comfortable at the canter, which we haven’t been able to do yet when I ask for it.  We’ve cantered under saddle, but it’s been when he decided to do it and not when I asked.

To make a long story short, after I failed to help him understand what I wanted after a few attempts, I sought out the help of Ruth Hansen to help me help Guinness understand what I wanted.  Okay, I would be remiss if I didn’t share this part.  Just picture this:  Anke trotting on Guinness and shouting “canter, canter, canter” repeatedly and moving around like a deranged monkey on a stick trying to get him to canter…all I will say is it wasn’t effective  All I got was a really fast trot and a look of bewilderment from Guinness…do not try this at home!

So, Ruth got on him and asked, and she got the same result as I did, a fast trot and no canter (but there was no deranged monkey on his back with Ruth!).  We then got a crop, and asked every so lightly behind the outside calf to give him the idea that that’s where we wanted him to engage and take off, and voila!  Ruth got 3-4 good departs, with only a little buck here and there.  We made sure that Guinness felt confident about what he had done, and didn’t ask too much too soon.

Then I got on, and after a try or two, no more deranged monkey!  In fact, there was nothing more than a soft “good boy!” coming from my lips as we cantered softly away.  So we tried in the other direction as well, and yup again got what we wanted.

So our journey continues, and we’ll do more again in the indoor over the next week, and then take it outside!

I can smell those trails coming now, woohoo!