|Cairo in the lead, Surprisingly Chill Arab Mare in second place, and Lucy|
looking annoyed that she's last.
-we didn't ride out until almost 5pm and I knew we were racing against the waning daylight
-I had never ridden Lucy in the evening when it was basically dark and basically expected her to be a total freak
-I am personally a huge chicken and the idea of being in the woods in the dark is not something I would normally sign myself up for
-I had no idea how the other mare would be with the dog
-Cairo had been cooped up all day and was WILD
-Cairo had also left her listening skills at home and wasn't really interested in paying any attention to me, which is not like her. Usually she listens well, even when I'm on a horse.
-I forgot dog treats at home and so I didn't even have a way to bribe the dog to listen
So, I spent most of the ride waiting for a huge explosion that never happened. Yup, the Arab mare was totally cool with the dog, even when Cairo stupidly went right up to her hind end and licked her hocks(!!!). Cairo did not listen as well as I would have liked her to --I yelled "LEAVE IT!" when she went up to the Arab's hind legs and she licked her hocks anyway, little brat--, but she listened well enough and stayed in front of the horses for most of the ride. We even tried a bit of trotting and
Cairo loped out in front of the horses, glancing backward every ten feet or so to make sure we were following and she was not about to get run over.
Thankfully we didn't encounter any deer and both horses behaved very well. I was waiting for the ghosts to jump out and scare the crap out of all of us but Lucy was like, "no worries, mate". My friend wisely assured me that horses can see better than humans in the dark so I had nothing to be worried about. I have no idea if this is true or not but it sure sounded good at the time, so I chose to believe it ;)
Anyway, I think Cairo still has a ways to go before she is the perfect Canine Companion out on the trails, BUT for being not even two years old and a breed that is known to be quite wild/free-thinking, she does a pretty good job. I will be more diligent about bringing delicious doggie bribes (i.e. treats) with me from now on and I bet she'll listen much better if she knows food is up for grabs. I encourage her to be out in front of the horses for a few reasons: a) if a horse spooks, it usually spooks sideways and I do not want my dog to get tangled up in that mess, b) I also don't want her behind the horses in case they kick and c) she will alert us to things up ahead, like if someone is approaching from the opposite direction, or if deer are lurking in the woods.
Who else brings their doggies out on trail rides? Do you have any helpful training tips?