Friday, January 1, 2010

What a Way to Start out the New Year!

A Ride With Me…what a perfect way to start the year! My ride was awesome. First of all, both AhD and Mister were saying, "Pick me! Pick me!" Is my Curly adorable or what? I started right out paying attention to behavior details to set the tone that I was the leader here. A little lunging, backing out of my space, hey - stand stock still when I put on that saddle! And I walked him first, making sure that he stayed behind me at all times. Easier said than done ~ but it worked. My daughter Nicole and our four Labs joined us for the first leg of this ride, and I was thrilled to have them along. The scenery was incredibly beautiful, with the snow sticking to the twigs. Speaking of twigs, eating them was a no-no (attention to detail), and I bet I took 10 twigs out of AhD’s mouth before he got the idea that I meant business. I was trying to remember to keep soft eyes and soft hands, but it wasn’t easy to do when I was squinting against the bright white snow and having to keep AhD off of the twigs AND off of Nicole’s heels. It took awhile, but we did get there. We went up and down some really steep hills. I had to dismount a time or two because of low, snow-laden branches. AhD’s outlook gradually eased into the responsive attitude that I was striving for by the time we had been trudging close to an hour and were back on home ground. I waved goodbye to Nicole and three of the dogs, and AhD, Grace and I headed back out again. I was feeling REALLY good and very satisfied with this ride! Denise gave me a jingle on my cell about 10 minutes after we had headed back out into the Maine woods, and AhD stopped and stood quietly while we chatted. What a good boy! He knows the phone routine! I mentioned how much this Curly network of experienced riders/trainers/owners has helped me with my journey on my spunky Curly. Apparently, we talked too long for AhD, though, because he nipped my coat to show his displeasure. Hey, you can’t conquer Rome in a day. On this second leg of our ride, I was able to work on my soft eyes and hands. We were moving along at a fast clip now, but he was staying at his power walk on a loose rein. JOY! The footing was good, even if the terrain was tricky. Grace stayed right on AhD’s heels, and he didn’t kick at her, not even once! Beautiful scenery, fresh air, thick snow lending quietness ~ an incredible experience! What a way to start out 2010!


  1. Susan! What great fun you had today! PERFECT holiday snow...decent I JUST love that pic of you and AHD and your dog on the trail from behind....that's worth framing! We talked for a while - what a good boy that Ahd stood so quietly -- I hope you didn't freeze. If I had been on my horse at the time, I would have had to cut it really's hard to hold a cell with bulky gloves and gobs of headcovering. Let's do this again soon!!!! So GREAT to chat with you...finally!

  2. Susan,
    Your photos skills are awesome. Love the one of where he is peeking out the barn door. You should submit them in photography contest too! Keep up the good work.


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