The scary chair

Last night, we entered the arena at the tail end of one of Margies lessons (ours is tonight!)

For those who don’t know, Margie had a bad fall from her mare at the beginning of December, and spent some time in the hospital and surgery.  This week is her first week back teaching lessons… yes that quick!

She is such a trooper, her lessons are set up so she sits in a chair at the centre of the ring.  She can slowly… slowwwwwly walk with a walker.  Well she was in the chair when we walked in, and Bentley had no complaints about this.  However, after I mounted and did a few laps of the ring (still ok!) Margie had gotten up from the chair, and was making her way over to the edge of the ring in her walker.  As soon as Bentley got a look at the chair, he stopped dead.  Perhaps it was the bright coloured foam, perhaps it was the fur coat beside it… but somehow the chair became very scary the moment Margie left (he couldn’t care less about her walker)  His usual reaction to scary stuff is to stop, look, snort, and just brace himself.  We went through all those phases, but moments after, he decided it was after him: spun around and skitter galloped to the far end of the ring, narrowly missing Kirsten who was saddling Venture, and another horse walking along the track as a coolout.  3 times this happened, he wouldn’t even look at it long enough to realize it wasnt a monster.  What a nutty boy!

Of course, that made all the other horses realize it was scary and also refuse to go near it.

By the time we were ready to trot, the foam and coat had been removed, and as if by magic, he forgot all about his scare.  The chair was still there… right in the middle of our 20 m circles, but who cares now that the foam is gone!

He was actually brilliant after that, giving me lots of bend and staying in contact.  Even had a nice canter in the one direction.  The other direction, he kept seeing Venture and dug in for big gallops… somehow not a problem in both directions.  Doesnt he know he’s never been to the track?

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