It was totally not intentional!
There had been a pretty good storm on Sunday night with significant wind gusts. The wind moved the shelters, I guess one horse jumped out of their pen, and the door that we have been using into the arena was damaged. So to access the arena we have to walk all the way down and come in through the door at the opposite end.
I knew that when I was tacking up Cisco that someone else was also tacking up and would be joining me in the arena. This was going to be my first ride on Cisco with another horse in the arena, and it was going to be his buddy Ned.
I got over there first and hopped on. We were just doing our walk warm-up, on a light contact (not as mouthy today as he has been). We had just passed the wide open door, and it would have been slightly behind him, and Ned and his rider popped into sight. Cisco stopped for a millisecond, and then bolted to the opposite end of the arena.
My reins were of course much too long to be effective. He was going in a straight line, and his head was up, and after the initial oh crap thought, I wasn't too worried that he was going to do something really stupid. My biggest concern was what would happen when he got to the end of the arena - would he stop and pitch me over the half-wall?
|No media from the ride, so just imagine this canter and a rider with a terrified look sitting on his back.|
So I just settled in. His canter is fairly comfortable. Just think how it will feel when his head isn't straight up in the air!
He came to an easy stop at the end, turned, and stared at the horse coming in. It took him a few seconds to figure out that it was indeed a horse. And then a few more seconds to realize that it was Ned.
He was pretty good through the rest of the ride. Was very good about steering, but tried to stall out a few times when we tried to pass Ned. Going to the right he feels very comfortable and forward and relaxed. Going left, he falls in more, and can get very sticky at a trot. I think we will work on quickness of transitions over the next couple of rides a bit and see if that helps.