I haven't ridden Chrome since the fifth for a few reasons... RAIN!!! Lots of rain. Which means LOTS of mud! Also I've been working lots of extra hours because my boss is sick.... again....
I spent the majority of today at a dressage clinic at the barn my trainer owns (where I used to work) and I swear I spent three hours of it straight shivering. Wow when did it get cold again??? I had on multiple layers as well as my new, super warm coat (the LL Bean one I got for Christmas), but I still shivered the whole time. By the time I got home my back was hurting and I was exhausted from shivering. I had fun though lol.
So I was sitting at my desk, happily relaxing, contemplating a nap (I actually napped yesterday which is highly unusual for me), finally warm and a text message pops up on my phone. The neighbor girl wanted to go ride! How could I say no?? Sure I hadn't ridden my horse in almost a month. Sure I was exhausted. Sure it was almost four pm. Sure I was absolutely terrified my horse would kill me.... Still I said yes. :)
You'll notice in all of these pictures that I'm not on his back.... yeah I walked 1.86 miles of the 3.39 miles we rode. That means I walked more than I rode. He was UP! He was flipping his tail and prancing at the horses galloping around next door (they took one of the horses away while my neighbor was tacking up so they were going crazy). I think the prancing would actually be fun to ride if it didn't scare me so much! I actually got off to let the horse trailer go by and walked until we got beyond the galloping horses, then I got back on.
Don't let the sleepy eyes on my dreamy dappled boy fool you...
I rode for a while and then neighbor girl started trotting in the fields. I made Chrome stay on the road because the fields are so muddy right now. I don't want him pulling a stifle. He tried to trot a couple of times, but listened when I said walk only. I had a death grip on him the whole time (which is why there aren't riding pictures). Then in the distance I saw something.,,
Chrome saw it too. He froze. Would not move a muscle. I don't even think he was breathing. See the picture above? He stood like that for several minutes without twitching.
It was a horse drawn wagon (or possibly a hinny? I was too preoccupied to be sure). This was the first time he'd ever seen one and boy am I glad I got off. I got the above picture while he was frozen. As they got closer he exploded! My neighbor girl said it wasn't bad, but if I'd been on his back I wouldn't have put it past him to bolt, so I'm glad my feet were firmly on the ground. They stopped the wagon and let Chrome approach it. He sniffed the wheel and begged the passenger for attention. I was so proud of him for facing his fear. They lapped us in the opposite direction around the block so we saw them a second time while I was still walking and he was much better the second time (although he was prancing and flipping his tail because a lunatic horse in a pasture was galloping around like a nut).
In these two pictures he's politely watching while neighbor girl galloped her horse. I think he was wishing I would stop being a chicken and let him gallop too.
Other than getting really hot from all the walking (the sun finally came out) I really enjoyed myself. I was terrified pretty much the whole time I was riding, but that will pass when we get some practice in. It had just been too long since I'd ridden I think. I was imagining the worst thing that could happen in every scenario. It was a great experience for him though because he got to see a wagon and a bunch of crazy horses galloping around. He also had to stand still while my neighbor galloped around him. At two other points we also split up (her off exploring fields while I stayed on the road) so he had to deal with separating and then meeting up with his buddy. So yeah, good experiences. :)
Once I got back home Chrome was exhausted as the adrenaline left him system. I took advantage of it and spent ten minutes or so walking, trotting and cantering around the house. His canter was perfect! No crow hopping, picked it up within two strides of me asking, his stifle didn't give out, stopped perfectly, held it for the length of the driveway, etc. Couldn't ask for any better so I hopped off and gave him a good grooming. He's shedding like crazy so he really enjoyed it (so much so that I'm not posting the pictures of his "relaxed" state haha).
I hope you all are having great weather and great rides. The rain is moving back in on us... :( The mud still hasn't dried up yet!!! Ahh!!!!!!!