Pie and Sovereign are feeling frisky now that our nights are cooler. All summer I felt like I had to practically carry Pie outside each morning to the pasture. He would stretch and stop and take little baby steps outside. Pie isn't a "morning person" and we get a kick of how he does his yoga pose "downward dog" in the aisle on his way out each day in order to wake up. Now that it is cooler, he walks with a purpose and snorts in the early morning air. I didn't think I would welcome their friskiness, but it is nice to have an enthusiastic horse beside you and under you. Everything is easier.
I rode Pie on Monday morning with a saddle. He went very well, although, because of the cool temperature, much spookier than just a few days ago. We had a tiny little situation to sort out that has been nagging me since my ride with my niece, E. Click here for that post. The very last leg of our ride that evening, went by my uncle's barn and his boat. Pie went by that boat 1000 times before, but it had been moved to a new position and Pie was frightened. E. and Sovey had no trouble, but Pie stopped and snorted. E. went ahead and took a path back down toward our barn, but Pie was really upset. He threw some wicked bucks and wheeled around to head back to our barn a different way. I was sad that he was so upset, but mostly I felt sorry for him because I usually stop everything and take the time to work through a fear with him and I didn't that night. Every ride since then has been with my Mom on Sovey and I didn't want to put her in any danger so I have been waiting to work on this little obstacle with Pie. On our ride on Monday, we were alone so I walked him over to the "boat path". He stopped and snorted. I relaxed my seat and reins and allowed him to fully examine the boat in our view. He backed up and side stepped. I laughed softly and kept smiling. Laughing, smiling and singing are my secret weapons against "spooky monsters". I find that when I laugh or sing I soften my posture and that sends "safe" messages to my horse. I knew Pie was scared, but he is always very willing to try to get over fears so I wasn't too worried. He does have some nasty bucks in him, though, so it is important to work through this now rather than wait until February when the wind is whipping! The most difficult thing to do as a rider in these situations is to give your horse a loose rein, but I believe in doing that. Pie and Sovereign don't have bits in their mouths anyway, but loosening the reins conveys the message that all is well. Pie relaxed his neck and back and started walking toward the boat and around it. Our first time by, he looked at it out of the corner of his eye. Our second time, he walked without hesitation. Our third time, he hardly noticed it. I was very proud of him! He is such a good boy.