Ben went to the fairgrounds again last night. Lucky for us, there was no rain, and it wasn't too cold.
He was a good boy. Excited at first to see all the horses sharing 1 pretty scary indoor arena- complete with pretty loud xmas music - lots of bells and ring-a-ding-dinging. But we walked around a couple of laps, and he calmed himself. he was mostly consumed with watching the other horses, and being a bit scared when they zoomed by. Some of these people cut it really close to you. Lots of new sights/sounds for horses- GREAT desensitizing, but not for the faint of heart! LOL
When I climbed (literally) on, he was a good boy. He had to have a good look around at the horses, the stands, the boards. No shenanigans.
I did feel like something was a bit...uhm, off. Walking, he was fine. But for some reason, he was having a really hard time picking up the trot, and keeping it. Totally new behavior. Almost felt like he was lame in the front, but I couldnt quite place where it was. Then I looked at my friend who was also riding and she said "its the footing." Sure enough, the sand footing was weird- it was slick, kinda wet and clumpy, and balling up in their hooves. This was NOT the normal footing in this arena - i remembered it to be brown dirt...and this was clearly weird sand type stuff.
We took it easy, Ben was clearly having a hard time, and losing a bit of confidence.
This morning I checked the fairgrounds website and sure enough, they are hosting indoor arena motorcross practices. That would explain the change.
So, not sure I'll go out there again with him. While it is great to get him out, its not worth risking an injury, or him losing confidence, when the whole point is to have him gain positive experiences.
On a positive note- we did get compliments again :) One for Ben's neat clip job, and the other for his sheer beauty...errr handsomeness. That gal said "You have a beautiful warmblood there, how old is he?" So when I told her what he really is, she went over to her friend and told her "look at this guy, isnt he gorgeous? You'll never believe what breed he is!"