Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Learning to Ground Drive

Since we can't ride, I decided Cupid and I should try a little ground driving!  It's possible Cupid did a little of this in his early training but I don't know for sure.  My trainer is experienced in it so I knew we would be in good hands regardless.

I started out with a little light longing.  Cupid was less reluctant to go, though the first time I asked him to pick up a trot going to the left he did pin his ears at me and give me a dirty look!  But he trotted around and looked good.  We did a little walk and trot both directions, then I put on his balancing side reins and did a little trot and canter each direction.  He picked up the left lead the first time I asked, but then the second time he was incorrect a few times before he got it.

Then we snapped on a longe line on each side, and let him get used to it running down his side and over his back and behind him, which did not present a problem.  My trainer got into position, behind and slightly to the inside of him, and I was by his head just in case.  She asked Cupid to walk forward with a cluck and he responded right away.  We started out walking around the arena along the rail with a few walk-halt-walks.  Cupid was perfect!  I thought Cupid would be a little confused about a person being behind instead of next to him and try to turn around, but he acted like he knew what he was supposed to do!  We did a few changes of direction down the diagonal as well as turning in a half circle.  Then my trainer had him go in a circle and let the lines get a little longer and got him up to a trot.  Cupid continued to be perfect! 

Then it was my turn to take the reins.  I had to resist the urge to get him going by raising and lowering the lines, like how you see them doing on a stagecoach in an old movie!  I tried to keep a light feel on the lines, and make sure we stayed straight.  It was fun, and I was really proud of how good Cupid was. 

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