Sunday, May 3, 2015

In which we go for a little walk and we totally aren't Kidding

Duana and Hana have been making friends.
 
A whole bunch of Suspects, old and new:  Joyce and Penny, Du and Hana,
Cami and Kid, Patty and Flower, Sam and Ariana
 
While some of us were off having long distance adventures last week, Du and Cami met up and did a trail ride.  Cami is a lovely rider, and she rides the athletic Kid very capably... but Kid needs a learning curve about heading out in a big group.
 

 
Joyce and the blessedly steady Penny in front. 
Kid bouncing around in slot #2. Patty coaching from slot #3.
I stayed in back to keep Dragonish "assistance" minimized.
 
Kid (registered name ES You Gotta Be Kiddin+++/) had a lot of boingity when we started off. 
 
A. Lot. Of. Boingity.
 
No, really. 
 
Caprioles.  Several of them.  And some other stuff. 
 
Fiddle offered to clobber him and knock out some of the boingity, but we had better ideas.
 

"This is how we walk, Dum-dum." 
Cami is taking notes.  Kid, not so much (at first)
Idea #1:  move the group members around. 
 
That meant sending Hana and Du ahead at speed.  They haven't done anything strenuous lately, and needed to burn off some fizz.
 
Everybody else in the group today needed to practice low-energy strolling down the trail.  Fee and Ariana ("Mama") have had the week off after their long rides last weekend.  Flower is coming back from time off after an abscess.  Penny is still pretty new to Joyce. 
 
And Kid had Maximum Boing-osity. 

 
 
 
Patty trains boingity out of a horse the same way she trains boingity out of a puppy:  by giving him something to do when he's not walking calmly. 
 
Something HARD.
 
Yes, Kid is a talented dressage horse, and he's very capable of doing lovely shoulder-in/haunches-in down the rail of an arena.
 
Doing shoulder-in and haunches in a familiar arena is easy for Kid. 
 
Doing that stuff UPHILL and DOWNHILL on the trail is a lot harder.
 
Every time Kid took a mental breath and looked to Cami for guidance (instead of boingity-ing against Cami's hands), Patty told her to praise him. 
 
When he actually halted (instead of prancing around like a beautiful idjit), he got more praise, and the offer of a lovely bite of grass.
 
He was too boingity to eat, at first.
 
But...everybody else is eating.
 
Hmmm.
 
He took a bite.
 
Good boy!
 
And then, we move forward again.
 
It took him not-quite-a-mile to go from boingity to walking flat-footed.
 
Then we asked him to play the Pass-Me/Pass-You game at a flat-footed walk with Penny.
 
He could do that.
 
Then we moved Penny out of the #1 slot, and moved Flower up front to play Pass-Me/Pass-You.
 
At the end of a 7 mile stroll down the trail:
 



Kid walks with his new friends

What a good boy.

2 comments:

  1. I had to play "get the boingity out" today on my ride too! Oi! And then we had a horse-eating, plastic-trash-bag-covered-fire hydrant to conquer. It looks like you had a great day for a ride!

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  2. Awesome training! You also had me at "boingity"...

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