Yay for good weather, and (slightly) longer days! Today was pretty successful. The boys were both up at the gate when I went to get Rio this morning, so I very carefully opened the gate so it didn't click and scare him off, and we managed to walk out with absolute minimal fuss. He didn't want to walk back toward it for me to close it, so I left him where he was (a few feet away) and shut the gate. I'm happy with a small victory at a time. We can work on waiting around the gate! Once we got up to the second gate, he walked through as normal - we just need to work on convincing him he can walk alongside me and not just trying to go through me all of the time, but we're on it!
We went the opposite way to usual and went to say hello to a couple of friends a few fields down. He kindly cleaned out Leo's food bowl before we wandered up to the yard. He had a small blip and was shying at something at the metal gate but I turned him back and he calmed down.
We did some lovely grooming, standing quietly, met a pony who he'd not met before, and they had cuddles and a little squeal before we went into the outdoor schooling paddock to do some in hand and try and bust some of those scary spooks! We walked lots of circles, serpentines, investigated all of the scary tyres scattered about, walked over and through poles, round the tyres, stopped, started, looked, and then munched some grass (Rio, not me!) We even did a pirhouette, which he did quite well! Ooh and a couple of steps backwards with me. Have I mentioned yet that I love this pony?
I decided it would be nice to take him for a walk around the top of the farm to have a look around as he's only done that once. We went round to see my friend and her pony, and ended up walking out in hand up the road - who needs a dog when you can pony walk?? It was lovely doing something different, and people seem to think I'm mad, but I actually enjoy in hand work as much as riding. We even had to cross a fairly busy road to get across to the road we walked up, and he was as good as gold.
He certainly earned his breakfast today - complete with carrots with tops still on - just like horsey spaghetti!
Aand this was once he was settled back in his field, all nice and relaxed! I would like to add, that our last small victory was that as we got back to the gate he doesn't like, he did try and rush through it, but I wouldn't let him have his headcollar off until he took two steps back toward me, and after a few minutes of standing off from him, he came over.
Ride safe! x