When I showed up it is safe to say he was amped: over a week without being worked, two straight days of no turnout, just got his latest loose shoe tacked back on two hours before I got to the barn, it's pouring rain outside, and now he's expected to calmly flat around like it's no big deal? Right.... Oh, and we had to ride in the rock-hard indoor ring (which he hates), the end doors were open, there were some new scary "monsters" being stored in each end of the ring, and two other young riders were in the ring having a lesson. Ha. Hahaha. Recipe for disaster? I chose to believe "great learning experience."
Charlie was high as a kite, but behaving, walking around fairly calmly and looking at (but not spooking at) the new scary objects. That is until we were trotting past one of the aforementioned scary beasties, which happened to also be in front of the open end doors, and he kicked a clod of dirt/stone into his belly causing a meltdown. We would have been fine but when he bucked he caused one of my stirrups to come loose which freaked him out more and, without a stirrup on one side, I got tossed. I got back on and we worked through it, me embarrassed to have made a scene in front of the two moms whose daughters were taking the lesson and Charlie seemingly embarrassed about freaking out as he was much better after that. The other horses in the ring didn't react, Charlie didn't run out the doors (or run over the moms!) and he continued to work afterward doing everything I asked without further issues, even when it meant having the other horses in the ring jump around near him (which I'd heard was a problem for him in the past).
There were only a few casualties:
|From when he threw his head up after losing the stirrup...at least it wasn't my nose!|
|Yup. That's gonna be a nice bruise.|