“The woods are lovely, dark and deep…”

jrl riding in the rainOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA At dusk and in the misty rain Dawn Treader and I spent a quiet moment and I thought of Robert Frost’s poem..

I hadn’t really thought of it as a method, but with the new trainees I have used Stacy’s recipe all along, that is walk, halt, backup, trot, halt, backup, canter, etc., only I don’t use it strictly in a circle and never with obstacles. Last night we repeated this routine on the way to George’s and back. I rode Titan, Kiwi and Dawn Treader.

Dawn Treader is having her monthly time or maybe it was the darkness coming but she was more worried than usual. Consequentially she snorted at every little thing that seemed odd to her and did not pay very close attention to me. Normally she walks along at a fast, comfortable clip. She doesn’t push me and I don’t have to restrain her except to keep her from jumping to the next gait, which she wants to do occasionally.

Titan and I did the same routine as the fillies so I didn’t follow the prescribed circles with obstacles as I have been. It’s been raining and I didn’t want to muddy up the pen where I have been working with Titan lately. Our training was on the road. When I asked him to canter he was immediately excited. I stroked his neck; I spoke to him calmly. He gradually calmed down each time we walked. He finally cantered calmly, but it was at the very end of our ride and I turned and cantered him away from the farm. He was motivated to get back to his temptation by Dawn Treader again. His mind was on girl horses and he somehow forgot about getting excited about the canter.






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