We set out to the back this afternoon. We had seven creek crossings, and a whole lot of steep muddy hills to traverse. I had her take the hills slowly and sensibly. There are a few downed trees from the "hurricane" last fall. I was impressed at how careful she was picking her way around, with little saplings flapping her legs and belly. I took her on a few short side trails that she's never done before, and we came home behind our neighbor's property and trotted up the road for the first time under saddle. I knocked the pause button on my Garmin, so no mileage again... but I figure based on previous measured rides about 4 miles of hill work.
I've decided some things about this horse.
1) She is a little bit OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Phebes has rituals that she just HAS to go through. For instance: She can only poop in one tiny corner of her stall. She has to pee before going into her stall, and she has to pee as soon as she gets out of the stall. In order to be put up for the night she has to walk down the stall breeze way, stare off at the neighbor's place, and the woods, then she has to walk back out to the paddock, stare again, then she comes back and goes into her stall. To load in the horse trailer she has to take 3 approaches. If she doesn't get at least 3 approaches she is not inclined to get in.
2) She is a very independent horse. Phebes has never once called to her pasture mates, and doesn't even look back at them when she heads out somewhere. She seems calmest when she is by herself.
3) She likes trail work vs. the monotony of the paddock or pen. Phebes ears are in motion all the time we are out, flicking this way and that. Her eyes are big and full of wonder now that she's quit "googling" and "spooking" at everything in sight. I think she really enjoys seeing new things.
4) Her trust and confidence are not easily given and must be earned. Now that Phebes is becoming more confident she is starting to be fun to ride. Especially our pleasure rides, or trail riding with one other person. Very enjoyable.
5) My little half arab has some potential. I could hug myself that I have hung in there with this horse. The future is WIDE OPEN!
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