Boot Camp Update – Weekend Rides

I haven’t done one of these updates in a while. That’s mainly because I haven’t been doing too much other than gradually increasing the length of time we work in the ring. That’s really not that interesting.IMG_5487

But none the less it’s time for an update and more pictures from the show last weekend.

Saturday I coached in the morning. I had a few near misses with 3 of my students. One of my cross rail students got bounced out of the tack on the in of a line but somehow was able to recover in time to jump out. I was quite impressed. One of my walk/trot/begin to canter students got bounced out of the tack when her horse decided to buck when asked to canter. She panicked but was also able to hold on and bring her horse back to a trot. Stiff drink anyone. The next one was in my dead beginner, barely trotting lesson. We were doing individual work and I had one student halted at the end of the ring. Thankfully because it was a beginner lesson I had another staff member helping. If it wasn’t for her this kid would have fallen off when his pony spooked at something outside the ring.IMG_5506

After that I grabbed Tucker from the field and we had lunch together while I contemplated whether I had the energy to ride or not. I didn’t but I tacked up anyway with the intention of working on my eq. Some of those pictures from the show really opened my eyes to how much of a slacker I’ve turned into.

Whatcha doin down there???

Whatcha doin down there???

When we got to the ring neither of us were feeling it though so instead we did something we’ve never done before. We hacked up the road by ourselves.IMG_5339

I was a little nervous 1. because hacking always makes me nervous and 2. because I’d never hacked alone before. I tried my best to not broadcast my nerves to Tuck by keeping my body lose and reins on the buckle. I wanted this to be a good experience for him.

At first he seemed pretty game. Interested, looking around and moving out at a brisk pace without encouragement. Once we got past the neighbours property I had to put some leg on. Once past the next couple properties and mushroom farm he slammed on the breaks. We spotted a tiny little dirt bike thing coming out of a driveway up ahead. The bike went back down it’s driveway but that was it. Tuck was done. He backed, he spun, he refused to continue, we almost ended up in the ditch.IMG_5500

As much as I would have liked to have given in and gone home I knew that would be a very bad idea. I continued to insist on forward movement, I tried circling him back around. Nothing was working, we were getting further and further back the way we had come. So I turned him towards home and made him back the way I wanted to go. Something in his brain must have clicked because I was able to turn him back around and take a few steps forward. Then the bike popped back out. I guess he realised it was no big deal because seeing it the second time seemed to encourage him forward. Weirdo!IMG_5418

We made it all the way to the driveway the bike came out of (bike no longer in sight) and Tuck spooked at nothing. After a few more calm steps forward I decided to stop pushing my luck and turned him back towards home. 2 cars and one more spook (at crows) later we pulled into the driveway safe and sound. He was a bit of a dork but over all I was happy with our solo hack.

Sunday it was time to get back to work. I’ve been reading everyone’s lesson and training posts and realised that I don’t focus enough on the finer points. So I continued to work on getting him to move off my leg using a lot of transitions. But instead of just doing transitions I focused on the quality of the transition. Yes we can trot to halt but is it pretty… not always. I did a little no stirrup work to start to fix my shortcomings and then we headed out to the field with the hill to chase some geese do some hill work.IMG_5457

Chasing the geese made the hill work slightly more fun. Tuck was even starting to herd them. At one point we were cantering up the hill and the geese in front of us were riled enough to take flight. Tucks head came up, his ears perked and I could almost read his mind… ‘how the heck do I get them up there???’

Does your horse have any funny quirks when out of the ring?

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12 Responses to Boot Camp Update – Weekend Rides

  1. Stephanie says:

    I hack out on the roads around the barn when the hay field is too tall for work! I don’t like it to it much, though, because there isn’t much of a shoulder and everyone always drives WAY, WAY too fast. Moe is always very good, though he gets a little bug-eyed when other horses come in sight. Gina is terrified of mailboxes, trash cans, people, dogs, and cars, so hacking her is always an Experience with a capital E. (She’s the better of the two in the hay field, though. Moe is a little terror.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Erin says:

      The driving to fast made me nervous. There is zero shoulder on our road. I had to keep switching sides of the road for optimum visibility. Poor Gina! Life is scary. haha.


  2. Courtney says:

    Nice job on keeping him moving forward, and not giving in to him. Although reading above comment, I think I’d be scared on a road with little visibility too. The first time I did it, it was on country roads and fields, so cars weren’t an issue, and it was scary enough that way! But it was fine and now I do it all the time!

    I love the idea of chasing geese… haha, I’m surprised they didn’t just leave the field!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Erin says:

      The visibility isn’t that bad. It’s just that there are a couple small hills so depending what side of the hill you’re on it’s safer to switch sides of the road due to the lack of shoulder. I’m not sure I’ll ever be comfortable going out alone but it’s nice to know that it’s an option.
      Haha. They could have avoided all the herding if they just moved off the hill… I’m kinda glad they didn’t though, it was more fun for us.


  3. Karen M says:

    I don’t mind riding around the fields on the property, but I haven’t been on a road hack since I was a kid. Barbed wire keeps me from roaming into other fields. I am not adventurous at all. Eli will chase the chickens, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Erin says:

      I wouldn’t say that I’m that adventurous either. It just seemed like the right day to take a walk. I was super nervous though.
      The poor chickens. What is it about birds that makes it so fun to chase them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Liz Stronach says:

    Introducing them to road hacking is always a bit nerve-wracking – getting them past that initial spin-and-go-home move can definitely take some guts. One thing I tried to do with my spooky guy when we initially started hacking alone was to keep him marching along on the bit, doing a little bending each way, doing some walk-halt transitions, so he could keep at least half a brain on me rather than focussing solely on looking for things to spook at. He’s much more comfortable now, so I can go back to loose rein moseying.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. emma says:

    chasing geese actually sounds like so much fun!! kudos for sticking with him while hacking out – hopefully he’ll remember that it really wasn’t that bad next time. my mare is usually a rockstar outside the arena… except one field at home where she’s sure there are trolls and she should probably high tail it back to the barn asap lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Erin says:

      There is a bit of work to it… first you have to herd the geese together, then you trot or canter after them but not to fast so you don’t rile them up to much that they fly away. If you’ve done it right they’ll still be there for your next pass. lol. It was a lot of fun!
      Trolls are definitely a real thing!


  6. Lauren says:

    Solo hacking (and group really) makes me so nervous!

    Liked by 1 person

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