Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ichabod Krane Days at Sleepy Hollow

Today was the kickoff to the Ichabod Krane days weekend at the Sleepy Hollow state park. Mom, Maggie, and I went with our horses (Connor, Ginger, and Blu respectively). It was perfect weather. The sun was warm and out, slightest breeze, perfect. The ride was really great after I did a short warm up with Blu.

No horses spooked, no one fell off, nothing eventful. Very relaxing. Blu was on his best behavior, too. Last time we were there, and every other time, Blu is very nasty to the other horses. He wants to bite them, chew them, run up their butts, and just generally annoy them. Blu did not even think about any of that stuff this afternoon. He was just fine. It was nice.

Blu is making progress with his comfort while leading. He usually freezes right up, but today, he was able to go for quite a while before he wanted someone else to lead. When that happened, I just let someone else lead.

Once, when Blu was leading, he got worried about an erosion blocker on the trail . . . so he walked into the 8' bushes next to the trail. He just kept going until he became firmly wedged in the bushes. Then, when the horses were all passed him, he backed out and followed them. It was . . . funny.

In the beginning of the ride, I wanted to just walk. So, when the other horses began jogging, I was playing with having Blu speed walk. If he broke into a jog, I would correct him. He was doing well at walking faster, but then the horses got quite far ahead. I decided to use this opportunity to help him find relaxation without the other horses by using half-halts. For a long time, he was stiff in the halter. When he finally began to relax, I asked Maggie and Mom to halt so we could catch up with them. By the end of the ride, Blu was so soft on the rein and would give his head to me with a light touch.

Whenever I saw a fallen tree, I would go off the trail and ask Blu to go over it. He never jumped one, but he never bulked, either. He just walked right over them. I thought that was a great thing for him to do.

When traversing hills, Blu has a tendency to look down as we go down the hill, as in become interested in something on the ground and put his head down. Then he looses his balance. So, I had to keep his head up--not on a tight rein or anything, I just kept him in position. He was getting better at putting his weight back as we went along.

The scenery was beautiful. The trees were all shade of colors, from greens and yellows to reds and oranges. From the largest hill top, we could see into the valley of rolling grass on one side and a wall of colorful foliage down the hill on the other side. We did not see any wildlife, just a couple riders. Blu could be more relaxed about other riders/strange horses, but the kid doesn't get out much.

Blu was not the best at staying on the trail. I was very specific in keeping him on the most worn trail. He was trippy and unfocused at times. Toward the end, he was much better and met my standards of specificity.

I had a great ride. It was a relaxing way to spend Saturday afternoon.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful ride. I love those beautiful fall days, not too hot not too cold and color to boost...

    Petra Christensen
    Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
    Parelli Central


About Me

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I am a young horsewoman with a million things on my mind. I have been a student of the horse all my life. As a little girl, I had a desire to understand horses on deeper levels. I believed that there was no such thing as a bad horse, and I believed that all horses were beautiful. One might say that I was a naive child, but I guess I don't have an excuse anymore, because I still believe all of that, and Parelli Natural Horsemanship is helping expand on this perspective.

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