Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Ben and I went with our friends to an open ride night at a local (very local, 10 min from the barn) fairgrounds. I knew I had to get him out again after his little incident on Saturday- whether it was more for me or him. But, dammit, I was determined to not let his BS happen a second time.
So, donned with Stick Tight breeches, out I went to face the music.
Ben loaded up great, hauled great, but once we got to the fairgrounds, he was nervous. He's only worked off a trailer a couple of times now, and never in the dark, and never with so many horses/trailers parked in one spot. He held it together, and within minutes we were walking down to the arena.
Once in the arena he was a bit frightened. There were a bunch of horses in there, and one gal in particular was running some sort of pattern around the horses, and to be honest, cutting it quite close to the riders. Great for desensitization, but kind of rude all the same. Ben did freak out a couple of times, but sure enough, he got over it. Rather than get on prematurely, I just walked him until I felt him relax. It didn't take more than 15 minutes.
Once on, he started out fresh and spooky. He was pulling at the contact and contorting his body to look at whatever spooky thing it was. I focused on keeping my focus, and my contact should he decide to pull out his newly tried party-trick.
But it never really came. Yes, he was nervous. Yes, he had a couple of big, sideways spooks. But yes, he got over it and got down to work.
The best part is that at the end of the ride we realized we had people watching us. We got a couple of questions and compliments. People wanted to know what breed he is, of course. One person, in particular said "Young lady, your horse is gorgeous, and you make him go very, very well."
Aw, shucks - thanks, mister!