Monday, April 28, 2008

A training session with my horse

I had my trainer over to the barn today to work with my horse. We rode him out in the front pasture, because it was empty and because it's close to the street. We're hoping riding in a pasture next to the street will help him become accustomed to hearing traffic sounds while he's being ridden.

The only other time I've ever ridden him in the front pasture was on the weekend, without Leslie. It was a difficult ride: Panama refused to turn to the left, and every time he made a right-hand turn he headed for home. In order to get him to go to the end of the pasture closest to the street, I had to literally dismount, lead him down there, and mount back up.

Of course, he listens to his trainer better than me, so Leslie was able to get all the little "bugs" out of him today. She practiced getting him to "stay on the rail" (i.e. stay near the fence and walk or trot parallel to it), which we haven't been able to do much of without an arena to practice in. She also made him push through several various fears, such as a branch that had fallen from a tree and a broken board in the fence.

Here's a short video of Leslie teaching my horse to stay near the fence, and forcing him to keep going past the broken board (which he had stopped to look at half a dozen times already).

Look at how easily Leslie posts the trot (that gentle up and down motion she does, instead of bouncing with every step). She makes it look so effortless! I can't wait until I have that much control while posting.



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