For Presto’s first trail ride, I asked my husband, Jesse, to ride my mare Willow ahead of Presto.
I’ve ‘ponied’ Presto from Willow before so they are both comfortable with being close to each other. Willow was both a calm influence and in case of emergency I could have used her as a wall to help block Presto’s forward motion (thankfully that wasn’t necessary).
Presto was a little uptight at the beginning of the ride with all the changes. When I lead him from Willow he stays beside her so he was a little confused by staying further behind…and the acorns falling from the trees that day.
To help him transition to the trail, I used the same cues I would in the arena but modified slightly. Usually if Presto gets too ‘forward’ or fast I will circle him in the arena. On the trail ride a full circle was not possible but I would add bend in one direction and ask his shoulders to either go straight or sometimes move out in the opposite direction.
Adding some bend, especially when he would try rushing, helps prevent head tossing.
I was very happy with his first trail ride. You could really see him relax the further we went. I was impressed with his willingness to relax and slow down. At times he was fine with Willow going quite a bit further ahead. When he asked to stop I let him.
Although I won’t always let him stop in the future it was important to me that he was rewarded for ‘slow’ thinking…especially because he started out wanting to rush.
My plan is to ride Presto MANY MILES on the trails between now and the first snow. Hopefully that gives me a few months of trail riding…but this is 2020 so, who knows, maybe it will snow next week!
I’ve owned Presto now for four years. He has grown so much and I’m finally ready to start sharing his adventures. You can find all of his posts on my website (stacywestfall_com_)
What questions do you have for me about Presto?
#PressonRegardless #Presto #Equithrive
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