In which we formally introduce Rocky, and he takes baby steps
I'd like y'all to meet Rocky.
|Steep learning curve: Rocky can't eat and walk at the same time. Yet.|
Prior to starting endurance training with Patty, Rocky spent a bunch of time in the arena learning basic dressage. In the arena, he learned to carry a rider, to walk/trot/canter, to turn, and to reverse. He can collect himself a little bit, and he can extend a little bit. He doesn't lose his cool when the rider swaps diagonals, or zips up a jacket.
But he had never seen bicycles before.
|"Quick!" Patty said to the nice man on the bicycle.|
"Hand him a cookie!"
|The man in front is walking at least 7 dogs on leashes.|
Even Ariana gave all those descended-from-wolves people her full attention. Rocky often sticks close to Ariana, who seems to know so much more than he does about the wild world.
Before we swing up into the saddle, Rocky needs to learn one more skill:
|"Pony stays OUTSIDE!"|
|"I stay outside."|
Finally, out on the trail:
|Rocky is actually pretty brave about leading the parade|
|He's not very coordinated yet--his feet land sort of randomly when he trots.|
|"I'm doing this right, right?"|
|"Whoooo, mare germs!"|
|"Hey...any of you guys gots a cookie?"|
|"Walk in the puddle. Gotcha."|
|"Oh hey. DRINK the puddle, too!"|
(I'm pleased to report that Fiddle did NOT react. Not to Rhythm, and not to Rocky's bobble. Can we credit the removal of hormones? I think we can!!!)
We made sure Patty wasn't concussed, fed her a few ibuprofen, and finished the ride with the knowledge that muscle relaxers and a therapeutic laser were waiting at home. She'll be fine.
Here's one more skill that baby horses need to learn:
|Tripod horsey gets a snack break|
Because otherwise, who will take pictures of Gigantor?