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May 26, 2014: Horse Training: Rosie Front and Center

Last night we had lesson – Beth, our instructor, calls Raudi Rosey. So this is now her arena name. I do think that Raudi’s having a differing name in class is a good thing because it allows her to construct a differing, and in some ways more positive, identity. Raudi doesn’t like arenas. Rosie does like arenas. Raudi doesn’t like to trot. Rosey loves to trot. Raudi refuses jumps. Rosey goes over them etc., etc. I should add here that I love this horse no matter what her name is. And if she wasn’t happy in the arena, I would bag lessons.

Rosey is spunky, energetic, has a consistent trot, and likes to jump. At least this is the way it was last night. I was blown away by her exemplary behavior. Rosey (when asked) picked up a trot and kept on going. She also went over the poles with considerable enthusiasm. And she jumped like a pro. I could not believe it. Then she jumped over some knocked down jumps and after landing, picked up a canter.

I was this time around, using yet another one of Kathy Day’s saddles. Kathy said that this one is wider in the withers – it could be that Rosey is moving out because she feels so comfortable in it. Hard to say.

I think that Rosey likes jumping. She seems to approach this activity the way she approaches creek and river crossings and bridges. She decides to go for it and then does so without hesitation. This is the more positive side of her very willful personality.

Now, this is the most amazing thing of all. Today Pete and I went for a more lengthy trail ride, to Grizzly Camp (Pete was riding Lifre). Raudi, at first, was rushing down the smaller inclines. A much appreciated change of attitude came a short while later. We went up the Grizzly Camp hill, and cantered and trotted most of the way. Her canter was that wonderful slow rocking horse gait – and her trot was very smooth. I suspect that after, she was tired, for she went downhill slowly and carefully, so much so that I was able to get her to repeatedly step from one side of the trail to the next. And I had her back down at the base.

Riding the lower return trail was an absolute joy. I had her out front most of the way, even when we came to Big Puddle Hill. It then seemed like ages ago that I’d tuck Raudi in behind Tinni when going down the portion that can only be described as being a tricky mudslide.

I felt as confident on Raudi today as I feel on Tinni. This is quite the claim considering that he’s the ultimate steady eddy horse. So this is what I’m now wondering – is there a connection to be made between Raudi and my taking lessons and her improvements on the trail? We have only done five lessons, so I am not so sure about this. But I am not going to dismiss the fact that perhaps our taking lessons is upping both our confidence levels. Riding with others, rating our speed, going over poles and jumps, it all could be making a difference. I’m definitely feeling more at home on Raudi – and maybe she senses this.

I don’t have any answers as to why all sudden Raudi and I are doing so well. Maybe they will materialize over time. In the meantime, we sure are having a wonderful time.

Next: 146. 5/27/14: Runaway Horse