Red Horse has come far, far, far this summer. We have been working on accepting the unexpected, trail saftey, and bravery (undoing buddy sourness). Not too long ago, Red had developed the annoying habbit of refusing to walk down the lane at our stable, snorting and backing up when he saw the clear, plastic shavings bags folks use to lay out feed. This was a new behavior that started around the time his status in the herd got bumped down a notch or two with the arrival of a very tough new gelding. As of now, bags and other suprises along the trail have become much less of a concern for Red.
Sunday we went to a clinic sponsored by Heart of the Redwoods, one of our local equine rescues. It was great fun, excellent exposure for Red, and an opportunity to try out the work we have done on being brave. We rode with a friend and her darling quarab mare Flora. Red dealt with the entire experience CALMLY. People kept commenting on how relaxed he was. Throughout the clinic he was totally focused and worked hard on disengaging the hind end, lateral flexion, side passing, turning on the forehand, and negotiating the fun obstacles set up for us. We made several side trips, riding throughout the fair grounds where the clinic was held. NO BUDDY SOUR BEHAVIOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just brave Red Horse, walking and trotting calmly.
I think we are ready for a solo ride on the trail into the "terror forrest" behind Freshwater Stables. I'm borrowing this phrase from Sara of Bumbling and Blathering who tells such a good tale of another horse who knows that something evil lurks in the seemingly lovely and inviting woods.