Slightly ironically, due to the month, Scarlet has decided that shadows are once again horse eating monsters.
With the sun going down a bit earlier now, our rides during the week are now officially during the evening. This means that the trees at our barn end up covering the arena with their shadows. When I rode Scarlet on Monday, he flipped out when we started going around the shadows. He tried to plant and spin and sidestep away from the shadows. At one point, he actually kicked out at one of the shadows. We worked the one side of the arena that he was spooked at all ride but he still did not relax.
We ended up trotting for most of that ride and didn’t really get much good practice in at lifting his back and not pulling against my hands due to his head being perpetually in the air due to fear. He has always been a spooky horse but generally settles down. I think that this being the first ride where the shadows were as prominent as they were combined with the chilly air just made it really difficult for him.
On Wednesday, he was much better. He still gave the shadows a close look when we went past them and kept wanting to tense up and put his head in the air but no kicking and no spinning. It helped that there was another horse in the arena almost the entire time we were riding. Its a lot easier to convince him that he isn’t going to be eaten when another horse is obviously not being eaten.
I feel like I’m getting better at keeping my hands still and in place when trotting. Obviously, its going to take much longer for it to be an automatic thing but I don’t have to hold onto my blanket quite as much to keep them still. I’d really love to have another lesson asap in order to see if we are improving but I have to find some extra money for that. So if I can, I’ll have one. If I can’t, I’ll wait till November.