Okay, so now that the "ooey-gooey, my pony is perfect" stuff is out of the way...
Let me tell you about SUNDAY!! Haha.
We rode in the front riding area in our makeshift dressage arena. Here's the thing about North. He just simply favors people over horses when it comes to trust. So when I ride him up front, I generally need someone on the ground to be his "support person". And he's really weird about it. He wants someone in the center of the arena to feel fully comfortable. Not outside the arena and in the general vicinity. He just feels more at ease when someone is in the center of the arena. That person is often my friend, Alex, because she practically lives at the barn.
Yesterday she was teaching a beginner lesson, but afterwards, she, her student, and student's mom came to hang out in the middle of the arena to be North's "emotional support". It was really windy and for some reason, through traffic on the road next to the riding area was pretty steady. My guy and another boarder were there, but they were on the outside, so didn't really count. We were doing great, a couple baby legs yields, nice rhythm, and just nice overall response to the aids. Then Alex announced that she was taking her student back to the barn so they could untack the lesson pony, but would be back if I wasn't done riding yet. It was as if North knew exactly what she said because 3 strides later, spook and jump at nothing! And this is what he does, because he doesn't like not having a person on the ground nearby when we ride up front. Suddenly, everything and nothing is cause for alarm. I ride him through it and pretend like nothing happened, and they leave. We do 2 laps around the arena and suddenly out of nowhere, he's leaping through the air, bucking, and trying to canter. I never felt scared or like I was gonna come off. More so like, "What is this nut doing??" Lol. I brought him back fairly easily got him to calm down, and then patted him as soon as he relaxed. When I went back and watched the video, the only thing I could see was that a van drove by. :-/ Mind you, we're at least 30-40 yards from the road and it wasn't a loud van or anything. It was just North basically mad because our friends left and he had to keep working. So I made him go walk-trot at least another 10 minutes before I called the ride and then rode him back to the barn.
So yes, definitely an interesting ride and something we will have to work through, but even better? I got it all on video! Lol. These things happen very fast and prior to the big spook, we were working on a longer rein because I was asking him to stretch down. Not our most graceful moment, but I was pretty proud of myself for staying in the saddle and not getting freaked out about it.