Today the new pony had his first outing since he last raced.
I didnt however venture to clamber aboard - I'm old and crusty, but not yet senile!
Took him to the WEC where they had a Western show on as well as a dressage competition so lots of trucks, floats and horses. It would probably have been his first time out of the paddock since his last race so goodness knows what was going through his head.
Left him in the yard while I worked Willie, and someone very kindly put their horse in next to him to keep him company while I was riding. He didnt seem too wound up in his yard (apart from when I first left him all ALONE).
Brushed, booted him up and saddled him, then put his bridle on. All good.
I (rather stupidly I now realise) thought I would simply lead him over to the competition areas, lead him around a bit, and then climb on.
I didnt actually even take him all the way over to the competition area - it was 'interesting' enough just in the car park. I think my shoulder and arm will be out of joint for a week now. He didnt leap around, or dance or anything, but he grew to at least 25 hands, and found it very difficult to stand still. Thankfully he didnt actually 'do' anything!
He then changed from a very slow walking boy, to marching along at a great pace of knots - I simply could not keep up with him.
I think he was also quite concerned to be leaving his new best friend (Willie), so I would lead him around for a bit (re-phrase: he would tow me around for a bit), then back to his 'safe' zone, then off we would go again. He did get a heck of a fright from something flapping, but I managed to hold on to him.
Given that he does seem rather a laid back boy, albeit anxious about some things, I rather under-estimated how 'exciting' it would be for him to be out and about. But then thinking logically, there is so much new for him to see and think about, and he also needs time to realise that life is no longer about racing.
Weather permitting, I will take him down again tomorrow and hopefully will actually get on him; even if only in the car park. There will still be the western riding event going, but hopefully it will be slightly less exciting for him (and me!).
It should all be old hat by tomorrow: shouldnt it?