I wanted to get at least one trail ride in, though, before I left RI and I really wanted to introduce Charlie to water so on Wednesday morning Maddy and I ventured out with Charlie and Brantley. The boys were so good! We had a little bit of trouble going over the first wooden bridge but we both stayed calm and patient, making sure to let the horses know that forward was the only option without causing a major battle or meltdown. In the end we both ended up getting off and walking over the bridge but it was by no means "giving up." We each waited until we got a calm moment facing the bridge and accepted that as success that wasn't worth pushing further. The second bridge came and went with no issues and on the way back they both went over each bridge without batting an eye.
When we got to the boat launch I took the same approach: slow and steady, nothing negative; as long as Charlie wasn't backing away I was happy. I honestly have no idea if he has ever been on a real trail ride before, let alone seen water, so I just calmly asked him to first watch as Brantley stepped in, then asked him to move to the water's edge himself. I had all the time in the world so there was no pressure. Eventually he took one step, then another, until all four feet were (barely) in the water. At that point he surprised us both by dunking his face eye-deep and swishing his head around. lol.
|What a beautiful view!|
|Maddy and B|
|I love this horse!|