Yesterday I was riding TO, also known as Little Man Answered. He’s a 2002 model gorgeous chestnut gelding. He’s had about 15-20 rides so far and he’s never offered to be ugly. He’s super soft in his face, has lateral movement already and is generally so nice to be around. All the horses here want to be your friend but he is especially friendly. When you ride him he’s really hard to get going. He’d be completely content to just stand around with a leg cocked, yawning while you’re up there.
He was the last horse of the day for me, and the sun was starting to set. I was riding in the barn, since it’s a safe indoor place for colts and it was starting to get colder. The barn here runs east and west (strange I know, but I didn’t build it) and so the door on the west end, when open, will let sunlight in. We were having a super ride- he was walking and trotting with little effort and melting into the ground when it came time to stop. I was on the west end of the barn talking to Zach, who wasn’t horseback, and I sent him off to his right. He took a couple good steps forward and then jumped into the air and took another half a jump before I got him calmed down and stopped. He’s pretty easy to reassure, since he’s so soft. Pick up a rein and the sucker comes right back to you. I rubbed him and talked to him, and felt him take a breath, and I had no idea what had actually affected this otherwise unconcerned colt. As I asked him to take a step to the right, he cocked his head and looked sideways at this sliver of light on the ground. Near as we can figure, he didn’t notice it until he walked over the light, at which point he covered it, and then came out the other side at which point it was right under his belly. Poor guy. We rode around a bit more, and Zach stood where the little patch of light was covered up. I finished the ride and then got off and walked him around it, where for the first few times he looked sideways at it. He was completely over it by the time I was finished with him.
Note to self: pay attention to shadows next time you’re on an otherwise unconcerned pony!