More to trail lessons than just the trail

Yesterday’s instructional trail ride included a lesson in trailer confidence for one of the students. The horse — Parker — was fine, a veteran of many a trailer journey, but the student was shaking at the prospect of driving the loaded trailer to the trail head. However, she worked with “moving closer and staying longer” (the human equivalent of approach and retreat), and met us at the trail head with no incidents and a boost in confidence about driving with a horse in the trailer.

After all that, she had no fear left over for the trail, and she had an excellent ride.

Tamara and Nakota have gone with me on almost all of the instructional trail rides this summer. Here they are having a Zen moment at Lindsey Lake, on our Loney Meadow trail ride last week:

Tamara and Nakota at Lindsey Lake
Tamara and Nakota at Lindsey Lake

When Abby gets tired, Nakota is happy to carry double:

Tamara and Abby ride double on Nakota
Tamara and Abby ride double on Nakota

Tamara and Nakota practiced ponying Rociada, who is learning trail confidence. Her panniers are full, to help her get used to being brushed by branches and brush, and to seeing saddlebags and cargo on her back.

Rociada is a sensitive filly who was reactive, nervous, and flighty when she first arrived here for her colt-start. She now handles trailering, water crossings, and loaded packs without a problem, and enjoys her outings on the trail.

Tamara and Nakota ponying Rociada
Tamara and Nakota ponying Rociada
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