I found this little buddy on the driveway last night...
I fed the horses at 5:30 AM, which meant that Rock finished eating his breakfast as early as 8:30 AM. He and Gabbrielle take three hours to eat one flake or slice of hay, while the senior horses take four hours. It was still cool enough that early in the morning that I went for a trail ride again.
My neighbor was pushing a loud metal wheelbarrow with tools in it up his driveway toward his front yard. I hoped he wouldn't bang a tool against it or fire up his chainsaw or hedge trimmer or weed whacker right when I rode past. He didn't. I made a point of focusing on where we were going, so that Rock would not gawk at him, and it worked this time.
He's getting so good about everything from holding still for the mount to watching where he places his feet so that he doesn't trip to listening respectfully when I tell him he can't snack on bushes. Just a few weeks ago he would swish his tail and stomp his feet when I said no to snacks. In fact, today I even tested him by taking him on a trail that was overgrown with grass and bushes. I had to keep the reins tight so that he knew he didn't have the slack to do a snatch and run, but he did make it all the way down the trail without eating. He's also getting softer and more responsive to my cues. I thought the day would never come when I'd experience that.
During the month of March, our area hit critical mass as far as the population of snowbirds is concerned, so our neighborhood had to be split up into different trash routes. They started picking up our garbage last, at the very end of the day when I don't ride, so I was really happy to not have to deal with the trash trucks during my trail riding time. However, now that most of the snowbirds have gone home, we are back to mid to late morning pickups. By leaving at 8:30, I managed to miss the trucks, which made for a much more relaxing ride. In fact, they weren't even in the neighborhood on our way home either. I love being able to ride down the middle of the street without having to contend with drivers.
Two Horse Tack bridle and reins.