This weekend we attended a Ranch Trail training for the first time! Finorio and I have never attended anything like this and I was quite curious to how he would react. Ranch Trail is kind of a cowboy version of Working Equitation. The different obstacles are created from the different challenges you can meet while working with horses. Going over bridges, pulling logs, going through different narrow passages with things brushing against the horses legs. Lifting things and so on.
We started the day by doing all the obstacles in hand with a lunge rope so that Finorio could find freedom to jump or run a few steps, if that was needed. We did that for a while before doing them all from horseback. I was quite surprised by him and how calm he turned out to be with that many horses, and weird stuff all around him. We did have a few moments of repeated standing capriole, but only infront of the hanging tarp, and some huge jumps over scary things, but he calmed right down. In the end he didn’t seem to bother about it at all.
There were some barrels that were lying down that we could try to jump over. Finorio jumped them perfectly from walk while i was doing the obstacles by hand so I thought I’d give them a go from the back as well. All I can say is that Finorio does know how to use his hindlegs to get over the obstacles. The only bit of jumping we have done have been over trees that have fallen in the forrest, and that are no bigger than normal poles used for jumping. So this was new. Of course he does have a few very typical lusitano landings (all four legs at the same time), but his technique doesn’t seem to be that bad.
Now, I have no intentions to persue a show jumping career for him, but it’s a nice addition to the differnt things to do in training. And as a former show jumper, I really enjoy it, allthough it’s been a while.
Might be the genes from Novilheiro that’s comming through, one of the most famous horses of the Lusitano breed, owned by John Whitaker.
At the end of the session we had some fun with a friend who wanted to see if her horse could pull a tire behind her, as she used to be scared of things making noise behind her. Her horse didn’t bother at all, but Finorio found it very weird, so I started chasing it to make him more comfortable with it.
It’s so nice to go to these trainings where everyone is there just to have a good time, and no pressure on anyone to do better than others. Some are there just to practice on going away from home, some to challenge the horse in different situations, others to just have fun. It’s fun and easy going, and lots of nice people to talk to. We ended the day by having lunch, Finorio on the trailer, and me with the other people, before driving back home.
I put together this little video of the different things we were up to