Sunday, 11 December 2011

A Gold Star for Rocky and Rain & Wind for the Northland

Heading to the island.  Mount Manaia is seen to the left in the back ground: sacred Maori spot.

Session 9
Sunday, December 11th

After a rest day yesterday with mediocre weather, today was one of those days that you look out the window and say, nope, it's not a day for outdoor activities.  

I then harkened back to all the days I would ride Misty in all types of weather: pouring rain, huge snowfall on the ground or crazy March wind.  When you take your horse out trail-riding or when you've made a long trip to camp with your horses a little weather doesn't stop you.  And the harsh winter doesn't stop you either.  So away I went.

The choice to ride today ended up being an excellent one.  The wind was howling.  The barn was a'clanging.  The rain was intermittent.  All these things mean lots of reason to spook.

Before we went out we did the "friendly game" with the bag, I worked on despooking and from the looks of our ride, it paid off well.

Stephen was there to open gates for us (which is extremely convenient) so we went all the way down to the beach and to the island.  We are talking some extremely windy hill tops and lots of new sights, sounds and scents in this weather.

Rocky's warm up was faster than ever.  He was minimally spooky.  Took to the rein and leg cues quicker than usual after a little reluctance we walked straight to the island with the tide out with the full wind howling into our face and the wind and salt spray covering us.  

Rocky was a champ!!!!

I'm really chuffed at the progress we are making.  This ride went extremely far in improving his confidence and trust in me.  He is learning that I'm not going to let anything bad happen. Given his age, time under the saddle and weather conditions I would give this session a 10/10.

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