The boys being very helpful this morning and walking (half way) to us to be caught.
We had such a fantastic day, a perfect hack on the perfect day. We usually hack for around 45 minutes on a simple loop close to the yard. Today was a bit more of an epic trek for us. I made a second attempt on a running braid to try and keep Rio cool. It was more successful than yesterday, but I still need to get it tighter as it did start coming out on our ride.
I couldn't have been prouder of him. He didn't spook, shy, bolt or play up at all. He got a little antsy when there was one in front of him and one to the side with one behind but soon settled down, and only walked a bit faster. That is about the extent of badness.
We hacked for just under 90 minutes over to another yard we know, where the boys were untacked and had a little break and some haylage. Rio went into the end stable to begin with where he couldn't see anyone and did have a little panic, but I moved him down a couple of stables so he could see everyone else, and he was actually very well behaved. He moved back when asked, and let me tack him back up without fuss. I was very proud.
This was on the way home, Rio lead the ride for a few minutes trot down some of the more winding road, and did a great job. We are working on getting his confidence up being out front for longer lengths of time. He is a brave boy, but seems to tire of being the leader for longer than a few minutes, and will slow down to allow someone else to take over. We had plenty of canters over the course of the ride, and over the last field we had a couple of vastly improved ones! On the way out, he dropped out into a trot, then picked it back up again a few metres later. Our penultimate canter was a little bit of a fight to get him to hold onto it, but we managed it, he was more keen trying get back towards the others because we had fanned out a little. Our last canter, I felt him ease into it, and just had to squeeze him on every few strides instead of every stride. It felt glorious.
We played in the water jump too! Unfortunately no photos this time, but Rio went in without hesitating behind Sarah and Franks, and had a little wander around. He just didn't seem fussed at all. We walked out, around, and back in again, and there was just nothing that worried him despite the four of us being in there and Nemo & Franks splashing around!
Just on one small bad note, he was a little cheeky when trying to load him to come home. Luckily Wendy was on hand to Parelli Drive him and he walked himself on perfectly after just a couple of minutes. There are no limits to what that lady can teach a horse!
Ride / play safe x