On Independence Day, Terry and I went to the farm with different agendas. She was going to work on “The Creek Project” and I was going to spend time with Journey. We both had great success!
Journey was in a fine frame of mind, so after grooming and exercises, I mounted up bareback, with bridle, and we ventured out of the arena. We had been “outside” several times, with halter or with bridle, bareback or saddled. This time, we went up to the main farm road, down the hill, across Johnson Creek, and into the hay field on the other side. We rode down the right-hand side of the field, and stood up on the bank so Terry could appreciate our accomplishment from her position on the tractor in the creek.
Journey was nearly PERFECT! We had two very minor disagreements about direction, and both times, I just had to use a little more rein and leg to get her to see things my way. 🙂 She was alert but not anxious, and I was anxious but not scared, LOL! This was the furthest I had ever ridden her, and the furthest I had ridden any horse bareback.
Once we made our “presentation” to Terry, I dismounted, took off her bridle and let her graze at liberty. She followed along with me as I walked slowly back along the creek toward the ford. At one point, I turned to look for her and she started to trot to me. I made a big deal about how pretty she looked, and what a good girl she was, and she began to gallop up to me… and past me, across the creek and back to the barn. HA!
My fault. When I first got her, I would lunge her and when we were done, I’d take off the rope and encourage her to run up the hill to the barn. She was so pretty, cantering, that I’d clap and make a big deal, how pretty she looked, etc. (Seeing a pattern here?) When I clapped for her in the big field, she did what I had trained her to do — canter back to the barn.
I got to WALK back to the barn, which I had expected, since I couldn’t remount bareback from the middle of a field… but I had hoped to have company on the return trip. 🙂