Small Victory

It was a beautiful day.  Too nice to ride inside but a perfect excuse to do some hill work, so we headed to the front field.  Of course, the first thing PJ did was spook at some plastic wrapped around a tree.  I was a little nervous as we moved passed it but I wasn’t going to let fear stop me from enjoying the sunshine.

PJ wasn’t paying much attention to me.  He was looking across the field; at the motorcycle driving down the road; the garbage can leaning across the street…  I started walking down the hill and trotting up in a serpentine pattern until we reached the end of the field and then trotted all of the way back up the hill to where we started.  After walking down-trotting up another half-way, I started trotting him down the hill.  PJ was all over the place and couldn’t sit to go down the hill.  We repeated the pattern but towards the end I tried continuing at the trot, without stopping at the bottom and top of the hill.  I felt some improvement, so decided to call it a day.

I’ve been afraid to canter PJ out of the ring.  I know that it’s because I’m a chicken and not because PJ has given me any indication that there is a reason to be worried.  So, when we reached the end of the field I thought about it.  I was nervous but talked myself through it.  Even if PJ got away from me a little, we would be going up hill and he’s not all that fast even when I push him, so…..I was not going to let my fear get to me and I was going to go for it. I got him trotting a couple of strides and then asked.  He didn’t pick it up right away but then he took the left lead (the one I was asking for) and up the hill we went.  It was beautiful.  He reached out his neck and was cadenced.  It was lovely.  When I stopped him at the top of the hill, he was panting.

We headed back to the barn but it was too nice to go in just yet.  I took him for a short hack to the river and let him wade in. He took a big drink and started splashing.  I had a grin on my face as we meandered back to the barn.

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