Whenever the weather cooperates I go to Sally’s farm and watch while she rides. Sally is a few decades older than me and has decided that riding alone is no longer safe. On Saturday she decided to trot her horse. Normally this activity wouldn’t cause me too much concern, but I was worried! We were outside. There was a marsh to our left with big birds flying in and out of it…whenever they felt like it. The wind occasionally “picked up” and my “worse scenario possible” mind pictured one catastrophe after another. I decided it was time to give Sally some really interesting things to do at the walk. (No more trotting on my watch!)

Sunday Sally came to our farm to learn some “entertaining” walk work in the arena with the horses. Bill was on Zeloso to demonstrate. Zelador was on the pedestal waiting for his turn to show the movements in-hand.

I started with Bill and Zeloso walking straight along the wall. I asked for a volte. No problem. I asked for a half-volte. Sally announced, “Oh, a loop.” I said, “Yes, it has loop-like qualities, however, we’re not changing the vocabulary. It is a volte.” We progressed to the reverse half-volte (Bill decided to spice things up with a very strange looking movement…). I took Sally by the hand, positioned her behind me and we walked this “tricky” exercise. Walking with me helped clarify things. Sally’s been trail riding for YEARS and has done all these variations of the volte without labeling them.

As we were coming back to the wall after a particularly gorgeous reverse half volte Zelador stepped off his pedestal and walked to us. I took him back to his viewing platform.

With the voltes still whirling in our brains I went to the shoulder-in, counter shoulder-in, haunches in (travers), haunches out (renvers), leg yield and half pass. Zeloso received tons of praise and, occasionally, I had a kind word for Bill.

Sally was absorbing all of this new stuff, but looking a bit shaky. I had her walk with me along the wall and do the exercises on foot. At one point we were slowly inching forward, working out the shoulder-in right. Much to my surprise I heard Bill laughing. He and Zeloso were standing still, about fifteen metres behind us. He called out, “Look at Zelador!” Sally and I stopped. We turned to face Bill and there was Zelador. He’d left his pedestal and was about four metres away…doing the shoulder-in right.