Well, magic worked, and I got to ride yesterday after uni, as I got home a lot earlier. Least to say I was half dead when coming home, but getting dressed for riding and starting to clean that muddy piglet named Teddy gave me more energy and once I was walking in the forest I felt great!
First I was shocked at how muddy he was - I guess he thought saturdays are days off too and he does not have to look all fancy, so there was a load of mud under his mane even
and in it of course, and all over him.. but most of it was dry so it was actually quite easy to clean. He was very patient at the saddling point, he stayed there waiting as I kept going back to the tack room to pick the things I want (as it has been raining on and off I did not want to take everything out at once before I got him)
He was very curious about the saddle pad and the saddle again, but was willing to be saddled (no sighing or trying to move away). He picked the bridle up perfect again, almost gobbled the bit down
He was very brisk on the walk across the road to the forest, and again impatient to wait for me to get on, even though I have become quite fast at mounting. (I guess riding often and quite a big weight loss of about whopping 28 pounds over 5 months has done its part too)
SO when he moved off, I asked him to stop and stand there. And as he moved I corrected him and kept him standing. When he was still for 10 seconds I thanked him and asked to start moving. He was just too keen to see his buddy again.
However, yet again he was wary about this one part of small trees very close to our starting point, but this time it was more just looking and snorting a little. Then we heart a chainsaw, but could not yet figure out at which part of the forest it is. Turned out it was just at the side of the path we had to take, so I asked him to just keep going, slowly - he was a bit stressed and was almost tiptoeing, but the people saw us and stopped whilst we passed (I guess they don't see horses walking past too often either
). He did try to trot but was easy to set back into our walk.
Then he saw that there are new tyres added to the part where there were some old ones, and now they were on both sides of the road... And some of the new ones were a lot bigger, and he was in total panic about them. However I was calm and consistent that we need to go, every time he tried to turn, I turned the other way and made him face them. If he stood still I asked nothing for a few seconds and urged him forwards. With about 10 such small episodes we got past - he was slightly shaky, but pulled the reigns out of my hands as soon as we were past the tyres (he does this when he does not need my support anymore - it is like he seeks contact with me when we have something to overcome, but as soon as it is fine, he asks for long reign)
The he had some issue again with the concrete blocks near our friend's house, but this time he did not try to take me through the ditch on the side of the road.. he walked a bit different, but fine. And snorted really LOUD at the geese in our friend's yard
But they came out very soon and we could get going for our 1 h walk.
We passed the dog with very little disturbance for us, but our buddy started cantering sideways again... in the ploughed field... on the way back they were both extra calm... weirdos
The rest was quite boring, as they just kept going and no problems, apart from when Teddy decided to turn on his Turbo diesel and started just walking forwards and faster and move off our buddy. Then he tried to walk very very close to him as we turned to this other road... We were both just laughing at his behaviour (a week off and he turns into a weirdo
Walked home, he did try to walk with his buddy, but I told him that we need to face the tyres again and go home. He didnt even shake on the way back home, however a car came from behind, and we let it pass by stepping into the forest, climbing back out on a steeper bit, but he did fine. He was a bit nervous about the car stopping next to the people with the chainsaw, which were resting at this moment, but he passed fine. The folks just asked me if he is nervous, and I said a little, but with very light contact with the bit and strong urge to go forwards we walked past the cars with no problems. They also named him "handsome boy" :P
Oh, and we did very little trot on the way home, just to stretch our legs a little (even in +7°C my toes freeze off after 1 h at walk, with warm socks, sole warmers and plain leather boots..). I need thermoboots (cannot wait for my salary)
Then as we closed to about 20 yards from the road, he decided he needs to take the right turn there, and explore a forest path, looked like animals use it, or maybe even people sometimes... he was very content and did a small round through the underbush.. I was just laughing my face off - he was taking on an adventure! Lets explore this part of the forest
When he was getting confused of how to get back out I used that second of slower stride and showed him and option, he gladly took it. He looked very proud with himself, and then took another right turn near the road and wanted to walk there. I let him, but as he refused to cross the ditch to get home from there, we walked back to our normal point, trotted over when there were no cars and walked home. He was very proud when we stopped.
I patted him a lot, told him that he is just amazing and was about to get off when he decided to check out my foot, and I did not want to accidentally kick him when getting off, so that took us a moment :P
Afterwards he got lots of hugs when I was undoing the girth, picking up the stirrups and getting ready to walk to our saddle spot.
He enjoyed me hugging his head and we did our usual face rub when I took the bridle off and he was playing with the bit against the wood pole for good half minute. Only then he decided its time to get it off
So halter time, tied for a second whilst I bring everything inside (gave his back a rub after saddle too, I do it every time now when his fluffy coat flattens down after riding)
Brought him a few pieces of bread and back to the pasture it was.
This time he walked in fine after I had asked Grand to move off the gate so we have free entrance.
Grand got 10 minutes of love too (it was getting dark already and I still had to start the fire in the central heater) but I rubbed him down head to toe, made him untangle himself from the rope, patted him all over, lifted his front legs and just talked some. Checked that he still remembers his manners and told him that even when I do not have too much time to work with him, he still gets hugs and kisses for being so amazing. Even though he had looked miserable when I walked off with Teddy. He dislikes being alone, but has never done anything...
SO later they got their buckets and my brother helped me put a round bale in for them, got water for them and a few carrots.. they turned into very happy bunnies.
Oh, and in the forest Teddy had decided to stop in muddy puddles and drink, and yes, they had managed to drink most of their water at home, but got fresh water as soon as I got back from riding.
They are 2 amazing cutie pies, and I am sad that Teddy's owner has forgot about him for a month already.. But he gets all the love from me.. even though I do not need 2 horses, I am not going to send him away right now (Also personal reasons that Grand needs company and I want to ride at least once a week, but Grand is not ready to be backed yet)