Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 16: First ride out of the arena

Thursday's ride I made count after the demo ride the previous day. We headed to the arena worked on canter online with the right lead. This still seems to be his less preferred lead. Today I introduced the sideways movement to him. This is where I ask Eclipse to put his nose to the rail and move down the rail crossing over both sets of legs. At first this can be unsettling because with the fence in front of him and the pressure from me to move his feet they quickly realize he can not go forward and has to figure out what to do with his feet. He caught on pretty quickly when I was on his left, but when on his right he would try to escape my pressure by turning his tail to me and head straight down the rail. I slowed down on this side to help him understand what I was asking. Within a few tries he was getting a few steps in a row in that direction. I then proceeded to get on and start our ride. Once were warmed up I worked more on the canter. Eclipse is now picking up both leads with just a little support. We had a pretty good ride in the arena, so we decided to branch out. I opened the gait to the arena and walked out to the pasture play ground. I merely walked him around the open area observing his reaction to all the jumps, obstacles, and mares grazing the pasture. All in all he did quite well. I tried to push my luck by heading to the wooded trail leading to the enchanted forest. As I headed to the opening of the woods a branch snapped and spooked Eclipse. After his feet settled I decided it best to dismount and lead him through the obstacles. We will ride it another day!

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