Monday, February 14, 2022

Being Brave

 The theme for Cinder's second week back in training was bravery. The barn is home to a very big h/j program (way above my budget, unfortunately) and they routinely reset the jumps and have a bunch of different fillers. A is able to use the jumps, and once I saw that a liverpool had been drug out, I asked A to take Cinder over it, if she felt like Cin was ready. Cinder had been flatted in the ring with the liverpool, and A had walked her up to it and let her see and sniff it, so when A jumped her on Wednesday, they attempted it. And in true Cinder fashion, she didn't care at all. A said that she was more worried about the jump than Cinder was. 

blurry screenshot ftw

When I went up Friday for my lesson, two loads of footing for the indoor had been delivered so we were relegated to the outdoor. Thankfully it was gorgeous and in the 60s, so a perfect day. When I got on A was finishing a light ride on Metro and as we talked we decided to do a short flat lesson, then hit the trails. We focused on the canter transitions in my lesson. The walk-canters are really coming along going left, but the right lead is still sticky. I think I just need to get a little firmer with Cin; I tend to give up to quickly. 

boss mare in the lead

Two adult ammys from the h/j program came out towards the end of my lesson, and said they were heading out on the trails as well (you have to walk through the outdoor arena to get to the trails) so A invited them to join us. They happily agreed, as they didn't know the trails that well and one was on a young green horse on his first trail adventure. A took the lead with me and Cin behind her with the other youngster behind me. Most of the trail was just wide enough for two horses, and when we started going up the hill Cinder started power walking and passed Metro. She was happy to lead for a few minutes, until there was a small branch in the trail. She stopped to look at it, but once Metro walked over it with no problem she followed him. 

The trail then opened up into a field and Cinder was so buys looking around everyone else passed us and she was at the end of the group. She didn't seem to mind, which I was very thankful for as a rouge pigeon came flying out of the trees and almost hit A and the second horse in line. Thankfully I had time to pull Cinder out of the path of kamikaze bird as it didn't seem to care that it was flying directly at horses. We walked to the end of the field before the other two ladies asked to turn around.

Going back Cin was a little more amped up, and once we were out of the field and back in the trees she started trying to spin around and look behind her. We were at the end of the group, so I have no idea what she was looking at. I sat through a couple of spins before deciding my bravery bank was empty and hopped off to hand walk her home. We were on a downhill slope, with a drop off one side, and I'd don't fully trust her to keep her footing while trying to spin around. She did try to spin into me once, but a quick reminder with my whip ended that. We did make it back to the barn in one piece and even though I had to get off, I'm happy with how our first trail ride went. 

I went up to ride on Sunday and Cinder was having a baby brain day. Eighteen horses from the h/j program had left early that morning for five weeks in Thermal and I think all the early morning activity had wound her up. I lunged her before getting on, including over some of the cavalettis and boxes set up in the outdoor (indoor was still getting worked on). For our ride, I focused on trying to keep her attention on me with lot of transitions and changes of direction. I did pop over a few of the cavalettis, just picking some at random when she was focusing. The the minis came out. The h/j barn has two minis that usually live at the assistant trainer's house, but since she's going to be gone for five weeks, they moved into the barn. Cinder was enthralled with them. She puffed up and would not look away from them. I did a little bit at the walk to try and get her brain back, but it was a lost cause. I got off and did a little ground work till she relaxed and called it a day. 


  1. aw even with her baby moments she seems like a gem -- good job staying with her!

  2. Pickle is the most alluring little horse!!

    I also struggle with knowing when to be firmer and when to step back. I am getting to know Speedy and his knowledge and evasions better so that's coming a bit more smoothly for me. I imagine it's even harder with a quickly changing, growing, and learning baby horse!

  3. Despite some baby moments, it sounds like things are going well with her! I love that she didn't care at all about the liverpool!

  4. I think Cinder is going to work wonders for your confidence as a rider. What a team you two are!