Oh my, what a weekend!
We arrived at Donida at about 6pm on Friday evening - after unpacking, setting up our stalls, and getting our registration stuff squared away, we all wanted to take our horses out to see the place. 2 of the 4 horses were taken by their owners in their halters - and when they left Ben got pretty upset - he was left in the barn, and the horses next to us were all a tizzy - not exactly relaxing. So I got to work quickly - instead of going out in the halter, I figured I'd have better luck tacking him up and going from there. I was right. We spent a good 20-30 minutes walking around spooking at everything - the rocks, bushes, judges booths - horses moving - you name it- if it caught his eye, he spooked. But once he had a good look, I felt like I could get on.
One problem...no mounting block. Crap. 16.1hh horse...hahah. I managed, and he was a good boy.
Once on we rode around our friend as a safety net- but it was obvious Ben was fine. The arenas there are HUGE - and I tell ya it was a wonderful thing to ride in such open space. Ben's canter and trot even were infinitely better. We rode in every arena, practiced going into the dressage arena - and by the end I was so happy I brought him to the show, if even all we got out of it were these rides.