Outside my French doors, it is perfect riding weather. Cool, but not too cool, sunny and no wind. I decided Fold the Kash and I would take a spin around the farm. It was time to ride out of sight of the barn, the pasture mates, and off into the deep woods that surround our property. I put on my safety vest in case HE decided this wasn't such a good idea.
With a young horse, every new question you ask can produce any number of answers like, No way, let's spin, I'm not taking another step, let's back into the trees, bucking is more fun, and maybe a combination of all. Or, if you're really lucky, the young horse might say, "sure, let's go."
I admit I was nervous. When at home, we haven't gone very far before, as he's better with a buddy and I can't ride two horses at one time. I've played it safe and stayed within his comfort zone, short forays only as far as he'd go without me sensing he was getting nervous.
This doesn't mean he hasn't been asked things and proven he can do them. We've done our away from home work. He now goes well in a group or with just one other horse. Creeks are no problem and steep inclines and drops a piece of cake. Logs are stepped over carefully, ditches, stepped into and out of one foot at a time. He'll jump a small course in a ring. No hidden monsters in the forest for this guy. He takes everything in stride, WHEN he's got a buddy, or knows they are near by.
Today, was the perfect weather for seeking new ground when all alone. I mounted up and off we went. Down the drive and into the woods, back up a trail and past the barn. So far, so good, but soon we'd be at the spot where he has always exhibited a bit of nerves and we'd turn around. Why? Because this horse simply wasn't ready before now. He needed to learn to trust himself and me. It's taken time and now and then, I found myself feeling impatient, but it takes two ready to move forward to make a good horse. Don't ask the question, unless you and he are ready for the answer, has always been my motto.
The question asking spot was coming up fast. I felt butterflies awakening in my stomach and started chattering to Kash, more for me than for him as we moved on. Talking would force me to breathe.
One step, two steps, ten steps, more. We reached "the spot". Eleven steps, twelve. We were past the turn-around point. I asked him to take the left trail and walk down a steep hill.
Head down and a buck and I'd be a goner.
Hmm. Not a flicker of ear, not a quickened step. I asked him to move out.
Kash answered, "Sure, let's go." Onward we went.
This little guy is ready to broaden his horizons, at a nice leisurely pace and with a new sense of self-confidence. It was worth taking the time, like most good things are worth taking the time. I said in the beginning, perfect riding weather. Dang, it's great to be right
Wishing all a Fold the Kash and go kind of afternoon.