I worked Phebes on some of the training exercises from the videos this morning. We had grocery bags hanging all around the round pen, a plastic bedding bag, and a board on the ground, a plywood bridge to cross, a rimless tire, a card board box, and the flying umbrella, last but not least about six pool noodles to back over, ride through. I did indeed find a few things she was spooky about, inparticular things come over her head from behind, but we worked on it. Things went well.
I let that all digest and a few hours later saddled her up, and rode her through all this various junk. Again she found something she had issue with , but we worked on it until she didn't. Then we picked up a trot, and worked through bending, bending, bending, and whoa! Trotting, walking, and whoa! She felt nicely light on bridle, and is starting to make turns off of my leg instead of the bridle. WOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!!! The gears seemed to be working, so Doug again saddled up Cree and we headed to our little 1/4 mile trail loop out back. We attempted the muddy downhill again, and again she balked. She didn't really explode, just wanted to back out. I led her down. Next was the muddy bog, she refused that, pawed, backed up, but didn't really melt down at all. Doug kept taking Cree through it until finally she followed and crossed. Then we went through it several times. Back up the hill and then later she rode down the muddy hill trail! It wasn't really slippery, just looks muddy where the horses have sunk their hooves in before her, and left ruts. Next on the agenda was a big spook. Cree was startled by a deer rustling in the woods. He spooked, she spooked, I sat back and said whoa....and she did! She really did!!! Lots of praise and rubbing and scratching for that one, let me tell you. We then went off down a hill, and back up a hill without Cree. She didn't worry about his where abouts at all. Didn't call out to him, or start jigging. She just walked along with her little ears twitching back and forth like radar. Phebes is going to move out down the trail pretty good once she's finished. She has a lot of energy, and doesn't seem to tire out.
This was the longest we've been in the Sycamore Creek saddle so far, and I'm still very pleased with it. Her sweat pattern was perfect on her back. No dry spots. The saddle even though it is a very wide tree did not roll, and allows me to ground mount without issue. Right now I'm using a Martha Josey saddle pad under it, and I'm just real happy with it. My butt has never been so cushy! I'm getting more used to having that rounded pommel rather than the horn. When we start competing I might switch out my fenders to something thinner, not sure yet, maybe something out of cordura? We'll see.
We have not attempted the trailer again yet. Still want to work on her confidence issues...and I don't know how she got hurt while she was away. Hoping and praying it wasn't in the trailer.
There may be hope for us yet....~Endurance Granny
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association