Guess who got to go riding this morning!
|I could tell he was calming down when he started sticking out his tongue...|
This is the first ride Dash and I have had without his owner/trainer (who's also my teacher...let's call her M) nearby. He was a little anxious not having her around, but he didn't act up. He just walked v e r y s l o w l y. ...Which means he walked like a normal horse and not like his hyper self. He absolutely did not want to go near that fence you can see behind us on the right side of the picture, but I didn't push it today. They've just changed that part of the fence and it looks totally different now than it did a week ago. He never likes that part of the fence anyway (there are dogs on the other side, and a flag, which was flapping in the wind like crazy today). He'll get used to it, but getting used to riding without M around was a big enough deal for one day.
See, M rescued Dash a few years ago from a pretty bad situation, and she has become something of a security blanket for him. Maybe it's because she rescued him, or maybe it's because she's been there with him every day for the past few years and those days have been pretty good. Either way, he feels safe with her around, and less so without her. He's also a natural worrier so that probably doesn't help.
Surprisingly, not having her there didn't bother me as much as it usually would have. Not that it would bother me to ride without her, but it would bother me to be on another person's property without them. And also to ride their horse without them. We've been working up to this though, and I had a security blanket of my own there with me: my husband, who took that picture. He makes me feel safe the way M makes Dash feel safe.
Dash did relax after ten or maybe fifteen minutes. He even picked up his speed and lowered his head - both good signs. I didn't ride long, maybe half an hour. I really just wanted to get him to relax and feel comfortable, then end it on a good note and avoid overstressing him.
This horse is the biggest goofball. I love him and his crazy personality already. The best part is, he's teaching me how to earn his trust. There's nothing better in the world than that.