I went to the stable planning to ride Lady. When I arrived, I saw that the trees in the front yard had been decorated with toilet paper flowing from every branch. Since the owner’s son just turned 17, his friends apparently wanted to celebrate. If I rode past that yard, I was sure that Lady would freak out!
I decided to test her from the ground first. I led her from her stall and walked her where she could see the yard without feeling threatened. We walked closer, and I watched for Lady’s reaction. She looked, but no sign of wanting to turn and run. I talked to her, telling her it was just paper and nothing would hurt her. We walked past the yard with no problem. I decided to go a step further and I led her onto the yard. We walked between the trees, and she looked with interest. A breeze lifted one long strand of white toward her and she stopped and backed up one step. I took the strand in my hand and held it toward her. She reached out with her nose, and then took a bite of leaves from the tree! Oops. Not a good idea. She didn’t seem frightened to me, so I took her back to the barn and brushed her and saddled her for our ride.
I was surprised by Lady’s calmness, and I was pleased. I rode her past the yard with its unusual decorations, and she didn’t spook. She has also walked quietly between piles of hay bales covered with tarps. Lady has some great strengths and an enjoyable smooth gait. She would be close to perfect, if she wasn’t afraid of big trucks and tractors. Perhaps, as I conquer my fears of what Lady might do, she will conquer her own fears.