Generally speaking, Ben is a pretty easy going guy. I have noticed that there are things that do bother him, and yesterday, one of those things happened.
I have seen Ben react to loud sounds that he cannot see. His reaction is usually to spook in place, or get antsy, and start helicoptering his head around and around. I have yet to see him fully blow up.
Yesterday, someone was power washing their trailer at dinnertime.It was loud, and it was coming from behind Ben, and it was something he could not see. So the nervous antsies came out.
After awhile, most of the horses calmed down, but I could see Ben was still a bit agitated. I figured I may as well try to work with him, at least to get his mind off it.
This proved to be a really GREAT idea. As soon as I tied him up in his stall, he still was a bit antsy, but it was to like 5 mph antsy vs 40mph. The more I interacted with him, the better he got.
So, I tacked him up in his surcingle, bridle, and boots- and took him to the round pen. He dropped to about 2mph- a little jumpy/out of his skin, but no blow ups or anything like that. Let him longe a bit and then put the side reins on loosely. He was all focused then, 1 mph. He chewed on the bit a little bit more than he had in previous sessions- so i'm thinking it was a combination of having changed the bit (bridle issue- LOL i NEED more tack!), and still being a bit nervous about the sounds going on around him. Today I am going to put him back in the original bridle- I think he likes that one more.
All in all, I was very happy with how he focused right back to the human in the midst of having a minor, green -equine meltdown. It is very nice to know that he seeks comfort in people, and can focus even though something scary is going on. He thrives on that interaction.
Hopefully today or Saturday I can ride him.The round pen area and arena was over-watered the other day- so 1 day they were useless, and yesterday with his nerves, and not knowing how he would react, I decided ground work was the better option. But today, the footing should be fine, and now I know how he will be- so I plan to work him under saddle. After a ride or two we'll graduate to the arena and start riding in there.