Yeah, I was a little scared. I lunged her out there a few times over the past weeks but she kept acting like a freak in the corner of the ring where the dog had spooked her. That end of the ring abuts the town forest with all of the trails, and before the dog incident it was already the "bad" end of the ring that she always gave the hairy eyeball to.
I realised that this was getting ridiculous; though the indoor provides a nice, enclosed, and very safe place to ride, I was getting really bored going in circles with white walls surrounding us. I enjoy Lucy the most out on trail rides, and if I had any hope of getting out on the trails again, I at least needed to get to the outdoor first.
On Saturday, I decided I was going to ride outside. It was lovely and sunny outside and I had no excuses. My barn owner had installed gates to the outdoor area so that if a horse got loose, they couldn't get up to the road. I made sure to secure these gates before getting on.
I was all alone at the barn so I also made sure I had my cell phone in case something happened. I lunged her first and then got on. I didn't allow her to go more than 5 or 6 steps in a straight line; we did bending lines and serpentines all over the whole ring. Gradually I guided her to the boogie corner of the ring and as we got closer, I asked for a shoulder in so she could think about that instead of what was going to jump out at her! I was super nervous but I tried my very best to put on a calm appearance so that she didn't pick up on my nerves. She did so well!!! She was actually a pleasure to ride, believe it or not!! I was so happy and impressed. As we warmed up, I rewarded her good behaviour with a little bit of slack in the reins, but I never gave up the whole length of rein and my heels were jammed down to China. We walked and trotted, and the circles got bigger as we went on, so that we were circling around half the ring instead of doing 5 metre circles. She didn't put a hoof out of place, what a good girl :) :)
|please ignore how disgusting she is :(|
I hope we can continue this wave of success and keep having good rides. It is supposed to rain for the next three days here so we will stick to the indoor I think, but I hope to be able to ride outside again toward the end of the week.
On Saturday, I am traveling to England for a week to visit family, so she will have that week off unless someone ends up riding her.