Cole Train only gets better.
Well, I blogged last week about Cole’s first evening solo ride of the year. Evening rides have been his Achilles heel, for some reason. He will do great in the morning, but the next day he’ll be a different horse in the evening. I think we may have left that problem behind.
I graded his first solo evening ride of the year a “C.” A couple days later, I tried it again and he got a “B-” due to some spooks, breaking into a canter a few times and trying to trot when I wanted to walk on the way home several times.
Then came the weekend. I took him on an awesome ride with Ranger on Saturday morning. Sunday morning, we were by ourselves, again. I went on a longer ride—and he was great. He got an “A” on that one. Yesterday evening, I went by myself, and he scored an “A-.” The minus only came because we were trotting a long stretch of trail and halfway through, he decided to go into the canter. That wasn’t so bad—it was how he decided to do it. He leapt straight up into the air as if he was doing a capriole. Maybe that’s what he did do. It certainly wasn’t a normal buck. When he hit the ground, he was cantering. I got him to stop only a few strides down the trail, and then we resumed trotting. I had no problems the rest of the ride. He walked home very quietly, which is a first for him. If he is alone, he will walk very fast and try to trot.
The problem horse this weekend was Cruiser. Well, I should say it was the Cruiser/Ranger combination. My sister and I rode them together for the first time this year. They are old buddies, and we have always had trouble with them in the spring. We tried trotting only once, and they wanted to race. Cruiser was so excited just to be out that he was gaiting instead of walking—I couldn’t slow him. Ranger had trouble keeping up. At one point, I looked behind while we were on a very narrow trail, and Ranger was cantering toward us—bucking. My sister was in terror that her knees would hit a tree!
Finally, my sister had an idea. We would turn them towards home and ride for a couple minutes and then turn them away from home. They got all excited that they were going home—then we burst their bubble and turned them back. They both started to pout—and slowed down. The rest of the ride we spent at a quiet walk. My sister said she only wants to ride with Cole, now. Ranger behaves with him. Poor Cruiser—my boyfriend doesn’t want to ride with him, either, because his horse tries to play with Cruiser. That’s all right. I like spending time alone with Cruiser—he behaves better when he is alone, too.