This evening was interesting. Yes, it was windy. Yes Rio had a little bit of a funny five minutes after standing quite nicely at the barn for quarter of an hour. Despite the wind, he settled once I untied him and moved him away for a bit. Once Millie and B got up, we tacked up and headed out for a ride. B was very spooky with his owner yesterday, so it was a bit of a test to see how he would go.
Both boys were walking out very nicely, and Rio was being good, so I decided we would give the river field a go. All was going well, and we had a lovely trot around the outside of the field. Unfortunately, I made a grave misjudgement and didn't bring Rio back to walk before the corner. We trotted a few paces down the middle track (our regular canter track...) and then I sat in and squeezed him on. What ensued was a few regular bouncy excitable strides which I was ready for, followed by broncing, and my third fall. I was expecting that he would do his usual couple of excited strides then settle down, so I sat in, instead of getting up out of the saddle.
Rio stood and waited for me, so I got up and got back on. Mistake number two. We'd ended up back on the canter track. No sooner had I settled my bottom in the saddle and was about to find my right stirrup, and he was off again. I wish I'd had the reaction time or thought to give him a short sharp smack with the schooling whip, but with one stirrup I was more focussed on trying to get out of the saddle and attempting to bring him back. I failed. Off I came again, and managed to wind myself this time! I felt so bad for Millie as she looked on, the second time I came off she said I grabbed my wrist (I guess to hold onto something whilst I got my breath back) and she thought I'd broken my wrist! She went off to get Rio as he had wandered off a little this time, and was going for a wee... So it's obvious to say that this wasn't a spooking incident. This was boundary testing again.
So we walked the boys in hand to the bottom end of the field, straight down the canter track. You would think that butter wouldn't melt! Millie held on to him whilst I got back on again at the end, and we attempted to pop him behind B to walk the route home. He wasn't having any of that though, so I let him go ahead, and we walked back up the outside of the field and out across the bridge with next to no issues. We got back to the yard without further incident, so I got off and unsaddled him, and off he went on the lunge to work. It's only the second time I've lunged him and before it was a bit rubbish. This time, he came to quite nicely in the end, trotting and cantering much better shapes. He worked until he got a bit sweaty and dropped his head to stretch out on each rein...
Work in progress. I'm just hoping it's not going to be every time he comes out without Franks that he plays up. He was fine when I got back on him the second time, and he was fine cantering back in the outdoor grass arena, so now I don't know whether to get his saddle checked, get his back checked, or just put it down to him being an absolute sod, and a youngster. I often forget with his mainly sensible head that he's still just turned 5.
Ride / play safe x