Mr Huf n Puf Cato Day 2 ride

Cato @ GWS

Cato @ GWS

0424131137aDay 2, really, if we count Day 1 as the test drive Sat April 20, 2013. I spent a sleepless night beyond excited and terrified. What will happen tomorrow..Will he listen to me? Will he blow me off?  What will he do when I decide to climb back on him?  Is 3 weeks really enough time to get him fit? or at least a start to getting fit? 3 weeks does not seem like anough time. but that is what he and I have; ok then we shall get a good start! We start with *at liberty work* in the small indoor arena. We do walk and trot in two directions. He does well. he is learning to listen to me and to regard me as his alpha person now. well……Cato and I do 1.5 hours of arena work, walk trot canter, round and fluid, and work on our rhythm and communication. Then, we head over to Griffinwood stables…… we get dressed and spend a lovely 20 minutes chatting with Catherine and catching up with the Griffinweirdness…. lovely farm, but there are people there as well as horses and other assorted humans and other animals…..Cato mowed Catherine’s door yard contentedly while we chatted and made much of him. He loves to have his face petted…. and his ears scritched. I climb on….. adjust the saddle and tell myself * ok, nothing to do but ride and see what happens*. Here is what I noticed: Cato gets surprised by *stuff* because he may be looking elsewhere… he does not spook at regular stuff like Bella and Chance ( rider snapping branches, dragging crud around their legs, making weird noises) No, Cato gets surprised by *shiny plants*, a stick in the road, a bush, a light colored plant, etc. He *asks permission to spook* by cocking an ear and moving away from my leg on the side of the *thing* and right into the spur and dressage whip away from the *thing*. Because you, Amanda, told me to ride every footfall, I am doing that. My legs are on him all of the time and I *hug* him gently with my lower leg constantly BUT when he says * hey whats that* and moves to spook? I am able to say *hey no*, or make some noise, usually a gutteral sound and check him softly and apply pressure with my lower legs and that moves him past the *thing*, so far. It appears that he *asks* * hey, is that dangerous?* and I am able to say *no, not at all go head*. It is a constant conversation, at least once per mile, and yes, I was counting! He worked hard for 5 semi slow miles up hills @ GWS….here is our link: and appeared to enjoy himself. Huffin and Puffin….we stopped to drink in the lovely salmon creek on GWS property. Hooked up with Celena, will do a * ride and leave him behind and see what happens and deal with it with Celena’s help* trails lesson on Friday. Can’t wait to learn what to do when he gets left behind and snakes his head and screams in fury.


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