Starry and My Niece
My boyfriend, Kevin, was helping my brother pick up my older niece from college. That left me with Starry and no one to help with my barn chores. My younger niece enthusiastically agreed to come out and take Starry on a ride and do the watering when we were done.
Suddenly, Kevin became nervous. I shouldn’t have told him we were going to canter. My niece hasn’t had a whole lot of experience cantering, and looks like she won’t for a while. We aren’t cantering Cruiser in groups, anymore, and when she comes out to ride with Ellen and me, we take Cruiser. So, this was our big opportunity.
Kevin thought maybe she should ride Ranger instead of Starry. I assured him she would be fine on Starry. He still worried. Maybe it was because he was spending the day with her father. He insisted that Starry be in the lead on the canter so the ride would be slower. I agreed to it. He kept stressing that we had to be careful.
Well, we intended to follow Kevin’s instructions. We really tried, but it didn’t work. When we wanted to canter, Starry wasn’t sure what my niece wanted. She was having trouble sitting his boingy trot in order to ask him to canter. There was only one thing I could do—I had to take the lead. Since Cole likes to go fast, he would lure Starry into the canter
The first time we tried, I kept looking back to see them trotting. When we stopped, she told me she did get a couple strides of the canter. We tried it again. I kept looking back to see them still trotting. When she caught up with us at the end of the trail where we planned to turn around to go home, she said she got a few more strides that time. we walked home a ways, and then I suggested turning back around and trying one more time. Cole liked the idea and he went really fast. Towards the end, I brought him to a trot and looked back. Starry was trotting, too. I was disappointed. We were losing our one big opportunity. When my niece caught up with me, she had a big smile on her face. They had cantered the whole way right before I glanced back. We had success. She had a great canter experience.