To his credit, it was a problematic day to ride. The gardener was there weed-eating the perimeter of the arena. The weed-eater is loud and spooky even to me.
The back corner of the arena is scary. On the other side of the fence there is a chicken coop, a travel trailer, a jeep, and a lot of large trees and bushes. It's a cozy little corner of the neighbor's property that generates all kind of spooky sounds. Most of the time it's okay. We've learned to deal with the noises that come from that corner.
But. On Thursday, the neighbor (who I adore) was doing some work with a ladder. I even jumped at the weird screeeeech sound that shrieked across the arena. Sydney almost jumped out of his skin. I was able to get keep him under control, but there was a lot of squirting to the side, an occasional squeal, and lots of high headedness.
To say I wasn't a bit nervous would be a lie. I held it together though and continued working, but after a few minutes I knew it wasn't worth it. We had put in some good work before the shrieking ladder so I felt it was okay to call it a day. I was disappointed though.
All was forgiven on Friday. I had a great ride on Sydney. My recent lesson on Speedy has given me even more tools to use with Sydney. I am really using the idea of water skiing at the walk. I know I am testing Sydney a little bit with the increased contact, but he is accepting it and working with me. Yah!
We spent our time on Friday working on big circles, first at the walk and then at the trot. I asked for more forward and actually got it without the sense of an imminent bolt. Again, yah! I kept the image of a water skier in mind and sat back and squeezed when I felt Sydney try to drop the contact.
I am really pleased with where we're heading. I am also totally digging the opportunity to use my toolbox with him and see positive results. This is starting to get fun!