In our continuing quest to help Rodney explore his universe, we went to Full Circle Horse Park last weekend.
Walked about. Looked. Long-lined. Looked. Rode. Looked. Rodney looked at everything. His ears were so busy his ear muscles must have been exhausted.
We explored all the exercise areas. We went into the covered ring (ridden), wandered into the field to sniff – and lick?! – a cross-country jump (in-hand), walked around the show jumps (in-hand) and checked out the sandbox (both). We even executed a few dressage maneuvers at the walk: circle, serpentine, a bit of sidewaysness that passes for our lateral work at the moment.
Rodney did everything he was asked. While he did not put a foot wrong …
… he still had a BIG day.
A thin undercurrent of nerves was his constant companion. For example, he couldn’t hold a stand. That is one of his tells for anxiety. We could have trotted, but he would not have been comfortable in his mind. So we underplayed our hand and kept everything at a relaxed walk.
He gave the occasional hairy eyeball to a wheelbarrow or a tarp. Mostly he was fascinated with the other horses, the people, and a paint pony who was his new best friend. The facilities didn’t seem to bother him at all. Umbrella? Pffft. Walking the ring road? Whatever. Arenas? Judge’s stand? Sure, although he was aware that he was in a dressage ring.
He wasn’t scared, as much as so intensely curious that …
… his head and neck were on constant swivel. Look at that! And that! And that over there!
At one point there was a person off in the distance to the left and a person off in the distance to the right. He kept looking from one to the other. Left. Right. Left. Right. It was tough for him. He kept having to count to 2.
I jest. He was a star.
Thank you for reading,