Today was our first ride outside of an arena in nearly six months. My friend Sue and her Banker pony Honey Bee went to the beach with us.
I have to admit that the first few minutes had me wondering whether to go on. (There were two unanticipated dismounts our last time out...) Val was tossing his head, ducking and breaking into a trot... seeing monsters behind every bush. He was certain that the (very distant) guy with surfboard was super dangerous and god forbid anyone should carry beach towels or play horseshoes. Meanwhile I focused on staying on my seat, relaxing and the judicious use of the fire drill (my trainers way to halt without getting into your horses mouth).
Overall, I'm super happy that I resisted the temptation to quit and was able to sit out Val's nervous rushing until he/we calmed down. I also resisted the temptation to dwell on the fact that on our first two beach rides were very calm. As my trainer says - you have to ride the horse you have today. Glad we have crossed that bridge - I'm sure it will go even better the next time. :)