Bad night that turned out good!
So, after not going out to the barn for like five days(I picked up a second job that wasn't really working out, so now I just have my one job again) I decided to go out and ride earlier this evening--tonight is also the first night of a cold front, so it was rather chilly. I spent a good 25 minutes grooming Ice, curry and everything, which he surprisingly did not like. It started off as him being really awesome as I was tightening his girth, he didn't even look back at me until it was almost ready to be tied off. Then he stood pretty well for mounting (we still have a problem with him walking off, but now when I tell him to whoa he preemptively backs up), and he was doing really well walking by the gate.
While I was in the ring, there was also an advanced jump lesson going on; three girls cantering on their ponies, and in addition to that there was a girl running barrels. Ice and I were just kind of moseying along, we stopped for a little bit to watch the jump lesson, which he also stood so well for! I was so happy, because this was basically his first time in the ring with so much activity going on, and he was just taking it in stride. Well, then the bad stuff happened. One of the ponies came out of a jump and wouldn't quit cantering, was tearing around the arena, even though the girl was almost yanking her head back to her knee. She finally calmed herself down, and although I could kind of feel Ice was a little excited, he wasn't prancy or fidgety. A few minutes later, the same pony slipped coming out of a jump, and off went her rider, and away went the pony! She was tearing around the arena, sans rider, and bucked RIGHT in front of Ice, and he just stood there. He did spook before I knew that the girl had fallen off, but all it was was a little bunny hop with his front end. By this time the lesson was pretty much over, although the trainer did take the time to get on the pony (happened to be hers) herself and ride her around and over a few jumps. As I was riding past the jump set up, the trainer and the pony came over a jump, and basically right at us, and Ice stopped DEAD, as if to ask me why the heck there was a horse coming at him. Our horses went our separate ways, and so then it dwindled down to just the girl running barrels and myself. She was cantering a lot, and every time she cantered by Ice, I could feel him tense up and go into race mode. We walked it out, and I was feeling brave enough to try a trot, but I think Ice had other ideas. He has shoddy balance, so he usually tosses his head up when we start trotting, but this time he basically threw his head back and tried to charge forward! I brought him down with minimal fight (again I'm so proud), and we waited until the arena was finally empty to start trotting. He was awesome! He was very collected when we started out, and then the second time he was a little more jaunty and extended, but by the third time he had found a good rhythm where he wasn't too jaunty and I had him on a loose rein.
So yeah, this really had the potential to be disastrous, considering it was favorable weather and consequently all of the other horses were feeling fresh. But, he kept his head on straight and didn't lose his TB mind, so I'm extremely happy with him!