It's been a good couple of days. Yesterday, Rio lead out his own little hack around the village. He was responsive, patient, and even when he had a little worry in the scary corner as we left the field, he worked through it with me. What a brave boy. We stopped and started, did collected walking, had a beautifully controlled steady trot, and even managed to stand and wait for others without fidgeting. Is this really my boy?
It seems that the mists of alfa anger may be lifting. Or it may just be that he's enjoying regular work. Either way, it made for an absolutely delightful ride today when we hit Belstead in the trailer with a couple of friends. It's been a while since we've done this ride with anyone other than us and Sarah with Franks. I wasn't sure what he'd be like!
I was given the scary responsibility of riding with the Go Pro today (Sarah's chrimbo prezzy!) and it was pretty cool. It amazed me just how light it was - you just about forget it's there, which is great. Not so great when you gasp, or talk - we all know how bad we sound on video, right? Seeing some of the footage at the end made it worthwhile, there's something super funky about re-living a brilliant hack, and seeing your boy's ears bobbing along! Fingers crossed I can get my mitts on the footage so I can post some here for you in the near future. For now, these lovely shots of Rio's bottom will have to suffice.
We had a couple of moments, he lost his back end a couple of times going over a slightly icy bridge, that wasn't so fun. Then on the way back someone had gone to hold their dog but stepped back out of obvious view, so that was clearly terrifying, and we did an almighty side step/leap off the track onto the field - sorry Mr Farmer Man. I was mostly relieved not to have toppled off in full public recorded view of the camera! That would have been embarrassing...
We also did a couple of jumps (inadvertently!) one on the first canter track, where we hopped a puddle, and another jump going up the canter hill. I'm not sure if he thought he'd reached the top and was trying to jump the crest again, or whether he was just getting excitable. He did really go for it on the second run! He also had a super hissy fit at the top whilst we waited for the others, foot stomping and all! Despite all that, he was far less sweaty today, even with his exercise rug on. His girth line was sweaty, but thanks to his new Le Mieux numnah, and hopefully him being a little fitter, he had only traces of sweat under the saddle. Even his armpits weren't sweaty like usual!
All in all, a very enjoyable end to my time off between jobs. Tomorrow I start my new role, and I must admit to being a tad nervous! Our ride today was a perfect distraction. Now to see next weekend if it's alfa rage that was causing his grumpiness, or if it is just lack of work... Bring on the Spring!
Ride / play safe x