I had such an amazing ride with Kirin yesterday I am dying to share.......
I took my friend (a novice rider) on a trail. She rode my good old girl Folly (Clyde mare, amazing confidence builder and all around fab horse!) and I rode my lovely Kirin.
It has been raining so much lately that the trails have been reduced to a swamp! Of course I did not know that they put gravel down to absorb some water, and when we reached that area I though Kirin was going to have a coronary! He is not a bucker or bolter, but he planted his feet and basically told me he was not interested in going through it. He turned around once and trid to head back (we were not very far from the barn at that point.) I told my friend just to sit quietly and hopefully I could work him thorugh it.
Guess what? He was so great! He balked a couple of times, but after talking to him, some reassurance, and some light urging he walked right over it (not without a snort of indignation) I had to hop off of him to open the gate, and bless him he just stood there on the gravel like an angel! Man did he get pets and hugs and I could not get over how proud I was of him.
Our ride was wonderful, we saw a gorgeous doe and her 2 babies and Kirin did not even bat an eyelash (this is a horse who is terrified of chipmunks!) My friend has never seen deer so close so it was a really special moment.
Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to share our success, even though it was just a little one ;) Isn't it funny how the slightest change in the trail seems like the end of th world to your horse?