It was Bombay's turn. We've been having to yell at him a lot lately because he's developing boredom behaviors, and let's just say, he's a musician at heart. When he's bored, he likes to make noise.
Bombay sighed and lowered his head as if to say, "You're right. I was just trying to intimidate you by acting spooky."
My warm up consisted of lunging him at a trot in both directions on the lead rope and doing a few quick Clinton Anderson exercises.
|See, Mom? I'm wearing my halo today.|
Since Bombay was uptight over what might happen as opposed to anything that was actually happening, I made an explosion sound effect with my mouth right when we passed the arroyo. He jumped in the air and then stopped mid-flight, realizing that it was just me, and I burst out laughing. It's a lot easier for me to ride out spooks that I instigate myself. I kept making the explosion noise every few minutes to keep him in check, but I couldn't fool and embarrass him again. It actually helped him relax because he started focusing on me rather than on the bushes. He knew I was playing a game, and he wanted to stay one step ahead of me.
Jogging was difficult. We will have to practice that more. I used to be able to squeeze him up to the trot and then continue to squeeze, but rein him down to a smooth jog. But because it has been so long, he kept interpreting my cues as me asking him to slow to a walk. I experienced a lot of choppy transitions and discovered that I suck at the sitting trot. I was bouncing all over the place. The more I bounced, the faster he went, so I just tried to celebrate and praise him if he took a few gentle strides at the jog. I didn't expect him to stay at that pace for several laps. That will be my goal next time. Overall, I felt a big improvement in Bombay. He's feeling more comfortable with me on his back, and we are developing a riding routine.
Yesterday Stewie and I enjoyed hanging out together and taking it easy on the porch with an Anne Tyler book.
While we were lounging on the porch, Stewie and the horses alerted on the hillside, and I saw a lady with a dog looking down at us. I pulled out my camera and took pictures of her, which is what I always do when I'm at home and people stare at me in my back yard, not minding their own business. She grabbed her mobile phone and busied herself making a call while walking away.
Then everyone alerted on the junk haystack, and I saw a couple of ears pointed our way. Someone was very interested in Stewie.
Speaking of birds, I figured out that it was an owl making those duck and goose noises. He came out after dark again, and I saw his silhouette at the top of a power pole. I didn't realize that owls have such a variety of vocalizations. They are almost as raucous as the ravens.