Competitive Trail?

This is a post from my horseforum.com thread that I started when I got Max. I’m so lucky the forum is still around and I was able to go back and add it to Lipizzan Life.

I’ve had two rides since my last entry. Both of them have been kind of good and kind of bad. Since my riding instructor gave me the “just trot!” talk, we’ve been experimenting with just trotting. There’s been fighting with each other trotting, and relaxed la te ta trotting. 

Last ride I was able to really get him to move off my leg instead of relying on the reins so much. This ride I messed around with how I rode a little more. I did some sort of reining with him? To get him to turn right I would move the left rein up against his neck, and vice versa. He just chilled out the second I started. He did a little happy slow trot. If he sped up I would have him do one of those cowboy circles. My instructor was there and she didn’t kill me. She even said we looked really good and were making progress! He was on a completely loose rein, flopping on his neck sort of thing. It was neat. Not dressage-y at all, but neat! 

The lady we were riding with today does competitive trail riding. It’s something I have had an interest in since I devoured a rider journal on here about it. I had brought it up with my riding instructor before, but I ended up going a more ring oriented dressage sort of direction. I’ve always been curious about getting into it, though. Well this lady is very into it and she told me all about it, and I am more excited than ever! She is going to pass my information along to the organization. There is a conference in late February that she said I could go to to learn from the speakers and such. There is a ride in March and she said I might be able to trailer there with her. 

I still want to be a dressage diva with Max, but I really want to round out our experiences together. I feel like this would be a good way for us to get the miles together that we need at this point. We’ve been taking lessons in an arena for years now. We still need decades more lessons, but I think that *right now*, miles on the saddle would help us put all the little tips and techniques together. 

Plus, in the end, I’m not with my horse for prestige or medals. I’m on my horse because he is a cool little guy and I just want to hang out with him as much as I can.

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