Hit the trails!
Since she’s not entirely savvy about traffic or strangers, I had to work out some safety-related logistics first:
- We picked mid-morning and mid-week to minimize the possibility of cars, walkers, and other dogs interfering with this trial run.
- We headed down to the wildlife management area by trailer, to avoid any road time.
- I tied a sack of treats to my bareback pad, brought a leash and cell phone, just in case.
- Again, we took the most patient and slow-footed Shea.
Kip stayed in the truck cab (yipping uncontrollably) while I unloaded Shea. Then I let the dog out, mounted up, and moved out immediately.
Kip was super-excited but managed her energy by making big, irregular circles around us. She tried nipping Shea’s heels once and got a quick verbal reprimand.
When she jogged alongside, I tossed her treats occassionally and praised her.
It quickly developed into just another off-leash jog. Kip checked in, did her canine exploring, and checked in again.
Three gloriously uneventful miles later, we were back at the trailer.
A few more rides like this one and I think we’ll be ready for added elements like another horse and rider and traffic.