Today I was riding my boy with my trainer and two of her lesson girls (who are maybe 11-12 & VERY loud) in the arena during their lesson. At the end, they all were going to go out on a trail ride and invited me to go. Now, Shamrock has only been ridden in the woods a few times, but he really enjoys being out of the arena. Everything in me was screaming, "NO" but my voice said, "Sure!" so we went. Shamrock ended up being second, behind my trainer & her horse, and the 2 loud lesson girls were behind him. The 4 barn dogs also went out and were running through the woods making tons of noise. The first & last time Shamrock went out with the dogs, he was freaked out and spooked a couple of times. Needless to say, I was a little nervous about going out with all of them. But Shamrock was a SAINT! I remember telling myself right before we went in the woods, "Don't underestimate him, he may surprise you." and I was right.
There was tons of noise all around us. The tops scampering around through the trees and running up behind us, the two girls talking loudly, the horses crunching leaves as they walked and Shamrock didn't spook once! He was attentive to all of it, but he didn't let it bother him too much.
We even went through "the ditch" for the first time which is a huge deal to most of the horses because it is sort of steep. But we went through it and then back through it without him freaking out at all. When we were going down the steep part, one of the dogs was standing in the middle of our way and so I had to hold him back to keep him from trampling her, which he didn't enjoy, but he kept his head the whole time.
I'm really proud of my boy and just had to share that proudness with y'all. :)