dancing horses

dancing horses

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Accidental Trainer

I hope everyone is enjoying a lovely Easter Weekend. Or Ishtar Weekend. Whichever one you celebrate.

My plans for the weekend are simple- I want to ride every day. I began yesterday. I wasn't sure that I would be able to as it was forecast to rain all day. However, I managed to squeeze in a ride between the showers. It wasn't a great schooling session- she was a bit tense but we worked through it and ended on a good note (and before the rain started again).

Today was sunny but the wind had an icy edge. Cynthia and waited until the afternoon to ride. In the meantime I emptied the manure cart and dragged the ring. The wind bit into us as we walked up to the ring but Carmen didn't seem too upset by the wind but she was a bit on edge. As we settled in to  work   heard Cynthia say 'Be careful with your whip'
I was puzzling over what she meant when all of a sudden BONSAI!  Chester Cat came leaping across the ring chasing the tip of my lunge whip.

All of sudden I was lunging two creatures- Carmen on the outer circle, Chester in the middle gleefully pouncing on the trailing whip and me in the centre. Since I didn't know what to do I simply carried on.

I was very impressed with Miss Carmen- she kept working but her attention was on Chester. I realized that by shifting her attention to what was happening in the circle rather than outside she was much more tuned in to me. We went up and down the ring - she had a zip in her step but was not upset at all- more bemused then anything.
Chester: wheee. I got it! I got it! Darn it got away. 
Carmen: What kind of circus are you running here? 
Me:  Honestly, I have no idea. 
Irish: Don't mind me- I'll just keep working while you children play. 

After a bit Chester went off to frolic in the grass beside the ring and I got on Carmen. It was a great to have a chance to work with her while a small kitty kept appearing in new places. She did very well- not one spook.

As we went on she became  a bit balky as we got working. We were walking and I asked for a trot. She politely refused. I asked again. She impolitely refused. I went over and picked up the crop and then asked again. I got an emphatic 'no!' and I gave her light tap behind my leg. She kicked out and then trotted off. After that we had no more discussion. Our trot-canter transitions have greatly improved as well.

So I have to thank Chester for my successful training session.

Of course I can train horses. Cats can do anything they set their paw to


  1. You paint a very funny picture with Chester chasing the whip. Happy Easter!

  2. You need a helmet cam to capture your simultaneous horse and cat lunging.

  3. That's pretty funny. I once took riding lessons at a stable where a cat had a litter of kittens. While I was riding, a kitten jumped off the wall, chased my horse, and then jumped up onto its tail and swung around like Tarzan. The horse I was riding got angry, I got scared, and I didn't want to take lessons there again unless the trainer locked up the kittens.

  4. I could see Chester in my mind chasing the whip. Love your step by step blogs on how your relationship with Carmen is developing.

    Sarah T

  5. This made me lol. I can totally see one of our barn kitties doing this :)

  6. The joys of riding at home! I'm feeling a little guilty I didn't even try to get out this weekend in the bad weather. March has been very hit and miss for me.


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