I never know what to expect with Journey. When I think I've got her pegged and formulated "a plan" she up and changes the rules! She doesn't do the normal expected things, but rather seems to come up with an agenda to make her plan work, in the case that I've previously thwarted her.
Case in point.
I didn't have a lot of time this evening. So I figured we'd just go putter up and down hills for an hour. Now usually leaving the property she tilts her head for home, and she and Cree scream their heads off for each other, and she might try to turn back. Tonight she just trotted on down the trail, to the back field where we bent in and out around trees. Then down a hill and through the woods until we were off the property. We jumped up several deer and stayed calm, perked her ears, but calm. I was thinking good...this is going well. We shimmy down a long steep hill, stop at a creek for water, trot up a logging road, and up a long gradual hill (long here is 1/4 mile the terrain rolls so we don't have any nice long grades). The top of that hill is the fork towards home, or the fork to go back down the long steep hill again, the trail being like an elongated triangle. The royal spotted one has figured out which trails point home, and which do not. She made her opinion known by refusing to turn my direction in hopes of turning her direction. She braced up so that I absolutely could not turn her to the right, but I could turn her to the left. So we'd end up turning completely around and she'd be pointing my chosen direction, then she'd refuse again, and we'd repeat. In the process of that we are on a bed of fallen leaves, and she has boots on. At some point her feet just slid right out from under her, she pitched forward, so did I. I'm dangling by mane hair and scrambling back into an upright position while she is righting herself. Then she turned around and went down the hill like nothing happened! We rode up and down various other steep hills, and LSEGH beeped me on the 2-way radio that an hour was up so I headed back. Some point on the way back she decided to mount a new rebellion because I again attempted a non-home direction. This time she decide to take me through a bunch of saplings, where I adjusted and trotted her in circles until she again accepted my direction. Then the rest of the ride was uneventful. She is a strange little mare. Delightful in some ways, funny in others, but definitely a "different" kind of horse than I've ever encountered before. Whoever said that Appaloosas are stupid sure don't know what they're talking about!
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