Monday, February 8, 2010

I believe we found a new gear

You might've seen the fat pretty snowflakes in the video Saturday. Well, unlike the rest of the snow in the area, it kept snowing in Spanish Springs. The hills Dixie lives on got about 4" on Saturday. Sunday I went out but my feet got wet and cold and I wussed out - just groomed her and fussed over her and went back home.

Today I went back to ride. The snow was about half-melted, and Dixie was really spooky about the scary new snow. I pushed her through it for a while, going up and down a sandy trail on a hill, but I finally realized she wasn't just being bitchy and decided we'd call it a day. She does trust me enough to go charging off into the scary white unknown, but she was so nervous, poor thing.

One of the trips back up the hill was, I think, in the incredibly elusive running walk! She was walking but it was way faster than her usual 4.5 mph power walk. I was leaning forward with my weight totally off of the seat, and I guess the way I was sitting plus the invisible snow demons pushed her into a RW. YAY! I'm so happy! If she can trot and pace and rack, she should be able to running walk too - I'd always tried to sit back a tiny bit, but apparently that's not what she needs.

We practiced our drunken trot out when we got back. She's figured out that it's just a task I want her to do, and now she's trying to figure out what the cue is. The first time, she started to take off when I turned to stand parallel to her, so I just led her in a circle and tried again. I have been using the same cue all along (thanks AareneX!) - "you ready?", shake the lead, "let's go!" We did three trot outs with some walking in between trots - I don't want her to think we trot all the time. She's pretty close to figuring it out. We'll just need to get our speeds synced and maybe even work on straightness.

Also I banged her tail. I lopped it off about an inch above her fetlocks. I don't want it dragging in the mud and getting ripped up, and she and I are not the tail-bagging type. I think it looks ok - I think a banged tail is a nice cut for a very thick tail. And it's not like there's any kind of standard for endurance TWH tails!


  1. HOORAY!!!!!

    Keep going, you're doing great!

  2. Maybe it's like learning to drive a stick shift: You just gotta figure out where all the gears are!


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