|We are still deeply suspicious of the geese.|
One of Colter’s biggest problems last year was his inability to refocus after being startled. We’d be having a nice ride and something would set him off- the horses in the adjacent paddock galloping by, someone moving a ground pole, a noisy truck driving down the road- and he would have a total meltdown. He was completely unable to get past the scary experience. I distinctly remember a ride last year where a motorcycle roared down the road and spooked Colt. After he stopped fleeing in terror, I settled for getting him to walk one circle in each direction before I called it a day.
Anne and I rode on Saturday; it was a beautiful day, sunny and windy. Colt and I were having fun playing “Follow The Leader” with Anne and Atut, walking serpentines and 10-meter circles. Colt was behaving beautifully- listening, bending, accepting contact. All of a sudden, he leapt forward, very nearly unseating me. He stopped and whirled around to stare intently into the pasture. Anne told me some geese had abruptly descended from the sky into the pasture, near the pond. Colt must have seen them and been frightened. I patted him and assured him the horse-eating geese were very far away and not a threat.
And then? He flicked an ear back to me, as if making up his mind about the veracity of my statement, and went back to work. Like, work work. We rode for another twenty minutes and he put in some very solid trot work.
Colter, it seems, has finally put on his big horse pants.