Rusty Stirrup

Shuffling Along

This week’s ride wasn’t really a ride. It was more of a shuff

By: Rusty Stirrup |

Luc and I shuffle along.

Luc and I shuffle along.

This week’s ride wasn’t really a ride. It was more of a shuffle. As in instead of moving forward, Luc and I just shuffled along pretending to be going forward. The heavy dew meant it was too wet to ride in the grass ring, so instead of relegating Luc to the indoor arena, I decided to head out to the sand ring. It was wet from recent rain, and a little deep in places so I had already determined it would be an easier ride. Luc must have read my mind, because he decided we didn’t really need to go for a ride at all.

Instead, when I asked him to walk, he would crawl along at the slowest pace possible. When I asked him for a trot, I got the same thing. Technically, he was trotting, albeit I’m not sure we were really moving forward at all. That counts as a high level dressage move, right? We shuffled along for a little while in each direction before picking up a canter – if you could even call it that.

Luc doesn’t really grasp the concept of neck reining.

Luc doesn’t really grasp the concept of neck reining.

There was no wind blowing on my face, or through my hair (the strands sticking haphazardly out of my helmet). Instead it was like riding in the eye of a storm. Completely calm, nothing moving, not even us. I know I could have, and perhaps should have, forced the issue and made Luc work forward. Instead, I let him get away with his shuffling antics. Partly because I just didn’t have the strength to pick that fight, but mostly because he had been such a good boy for Jen at the show that I thought he’d deserved a break. Not that he hadn’t already had most of the week off to recover and enough treats to last a lifetime.

So instead of making Luc go forward, I worked on neck reining, a skill he doesn’t currently possess. Unsurprisingly, even after my attempts to teach him, he still doesn’t. He did sort of grasp the concept, but only if I asked him to turn toward where my sister Jen, his owner, was standing in the centre of the ring. Turning away from her didn’t really happen. Oh well, I love him anyways. How could you not?

Even though the ride was on the shorter side, it was still enjoyable. I just can’t help but be happy when I spend time with him.