Monday, September 24, 2012


Harley and I have been doing a little trail riding lately.  Riding him is a sure way to see if his allergies are under control and regular exercise seems to help.  I have taken him out for a couple light hacks behind the property.  We usually walk a short loop and then trot a little behind the paddocks or down the sandy road that follows the power lines.  Even though we are hackin', we practice some dressage-ing.  I usually ask him for a particular lead or alternate between right and left with the curves of the trail or along a straight line.  Some times he fusses and throws a little fit, because he remembers being a "yahoo" horse (he is reformed).  He did this yesterday when I asked him to canter home on the left lead.  He wanted to go on his right lead, so he sidestepped and danced away from my aids, trying to position himself for the right lead.  I turned him around and asked him to pick up the left lead going away from home.  After about ten strides, I stopped him, and turned him left, toward home again, and asked for the left lead.  This time he picked it up right away.  Then I brought him back and asked for the right lead.  He picked it up happily.  That was his reward.

Once back in the woods, we alternated leads a few more times.  His canter got quieter and more balanced with each repetition.  It felt really easy and did not require much more than a thought to get him to take the canter.  I sat the trot and let him open up his stride a couple times.  He really likes doing that and seems to prefer me to sit.  I like hacks that are fun and feel productive.

Two fawns and a doe

Harley is such a cool dude.  He likes investigating the deer.  They are not usually scared of us.  I think "mildly annoyed" might be a better description.  Apparently we interrupted their grazing time, but hey, they get to eat all day long.

Harley's paddock buddy

The new horse.  He looks much bigger from the ground!

Just an all-around fun horse.  Love you, Harley!


  1. I use dressage on the trail a lot. I like that Winston feels like he's getting a break but he is still working - differently.

  2. It's always nice to go out for a hack and get away from the arena and lessons.

    1. It is. This is my favorite time of year for trail riding.

  3. It looks like a lovely day for a hack. He looks very content in the last photo.

  4. Sounds like a great ride - productive and fun canter work and viewing wildlife. What could be better?

  5. No matter how nicely Allie goes at a show or in the arena my favorite thing to do is to go on a trail ride.


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