They live at a lovely facility that has 100 acres of incredible fields and pastures. It's nice and quiet (read it's not a busy lesson barn) and my guys are relaxed and happy there. Recently, the big fields on the property were mowed and baled. This means we can ride in them! Woo hoo!
|Toby out in the BIG field this past winter.|
Then I decided to try the same ride with Ollie. I figured he'd had enough of riding around in circles in the arena and needed a break.
I took him around the arena first to see how he was feeling before we struck out into the fields. He was nice and quiet so off we went on our excellent adventure.
I had been taking him around the small dry lots after each ride as part of our cooling out. He used to be a little excited about that but now he just plods along. Then we went out into the fields. We did the exact same loop as Toby except when we came to the BIG open field (did I mention it's 55 acres?).
Ollie had no troubles with the small brook unlike his best friend Toby. And he happily jogged up the steep hill. Then we crossed into the big field. He looked around but never became tense. I made a point to keep him in sight of the barn and we trotted around some small hills. He never had an urge to take off running even though it was WIDE OPEN in front of him. He was very good!
During the entire ride he only became tense twice. Once was when we came across an open gate out of his current pasture. I have no idea why the open gate made him tense but he gingerly walked past it. The other time was when we walked past the barn owners home on our way back to the barn. They have a basketball hoop up and for whatever reason, it made Ollie actually spook. The only time he spooked the whole ride. A spook for Ollie is a small jump to one side away from the offending object. So that's what he did and we continued to walk on past - gingerly but still a walk.
We got to the barn and I was so proud of him! I realized that I will be able to take him on trail rides! He has always been so high strung that I thought I'd never be able to take him out and about. That's not the case now! I have no idea what has gotten him to settle down - is it the Uckele supplement "Focus Calm"? Is it the humid weather? Is it our increased trust with one another? Is it all of the above? I think so...
Did I mention that I rode him in his simple snaffle? So proud of him :)