Friday, May 7, 2010

Trail Ride or Train

The sun is rising earlier. The sun is setting latter. The opportunities to ride are more plentiful. Anyone who has followed this blog or it's shadow on Barnmice knows that I'm trying to work through all the exercises in the two Downunder Horsemanship's Gaining Respect on the Ground and Riding with Confidence DVD series. We can do all of the exercises in Series I & II, Series III has been a little tougher. Not because the exercises are more difficult. Clinton has a straightforward, simple way of teaching them. It's because of the time factor.

It's like learning to play the piano by doing scales or by playing songs. Practicing scales will improve your skills, but it can get boring. Playing songs is much more fun. So, it's do exercises or trail ride. When time is at a premium I most often opt for the trail ride. About every six months or so, I recommit myself and Jessie to learning all the exercises and we start practicing again. I've found one of the best times to practice is early in the morning. This morning at 6 am we were up and at it. Luckily I don't have to be at work until about 9am, so if I can get up and moving early we can work anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. It takes about 10 minutes to get the neighbor's horses moved around so we have a place to work (they generously allow us to work in the dirt field their horses board on).

While it's sometimes difficult to get out of bed, once I'm out there, it really is enjoyable. We are alone with few distractions
except for the traffic and the dog, Rusty, and the cat, Panama, who come out to keep us
company. We get to work on the exercises with a bit more focus and
concentration and I know it really helps me. I have a 3x5 card in a zip
lock bag that tucks into my saddle nicely. It has the exercises I want
to work on, because it seems I can think of them when I'm not in the
saddle, but once I get up there it's like, "Okay, what were we going to

It's been a good week. We got a trail ride in on Thursday evening along the canal bank and then the workout on Friday morning. I am hopeful we'll get to trailer somewhere this weekend because the weather is supposed to be perfect.
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