October 27, 2012

Cantering the Grassy Track

Off of the huge grassy schooling area across the street, there is a half-mile track that runs between a planted field and a tree line.  It’s about thirty feet wide, over gently rolling terrain, and is kept mowed; I think the more advanced riders use it for trot and canter sets.  Once you get to the end, you can either turn left and spend hours wandering the mowed tracks around the farmers’ fields (many of which are owned by the barn), or you can turn around and head back.

What we probably looked like...
...minus the show attire and sandbox.
Because my lesson is moved to Saturday this week, Connor and I spent the last warm day of 2012 yesterday in that track.  After quietly walking down and back with our assistant trainer on our barn’s old gentleman, Dillon, we turned back for a go of it on our own.  Connor, so quiet before, could not understand why Dillon had left and started screaming his head off for him, but I stayed workmanlike and we moved on.

I asked him to trot going away, and I could feel the hesitation in his stride.  Like on the trails when I asked him to choose a different path than he intended, he was not totally sure of himself, but still did what I asked.  He got bolder as we went along, though, and when I asked him to canter, I felt his hesitation fade with every stride as his ears pricked and he moved out with energy.  Maybe I should have been nervous that he would see something in the trees and dart out from under me at speed in an open field, but I was wrapped up in the incredible feeling of contained power I felt in his canter, how fluidly he was moving, and how good we felt together.  That old Collegiate really makes both of us happy.  All it took to bring him back was sitting up and down, as it should be, but it’s not like he was eager to slow down.  He was so happy.

Felt good, man, felt good.


  1. Yay, that is great.
    We have similar lanes that I love letting DaVinci loose on. Good for intervals too.
    Glad you both had fun. Comrade is a caller too until he focuses.

  2. Sounds lovely! A nice change of scene for Conor, too.

  3. Awesome! That is exactly the feeling I get on our galloping track with Riva. Sounds like a good place to get in something fun, that doesn't feel like work to Connor.