I did manage to take Coriander out for a little ride today. He and I both wanted to go for a trail ride something awful but, sadly, it's hunting season out there and, no offense to any hunters reading my blog, too many hunters are idiots for me to risk it. We ended up in the ring next door but we were both feeling pretty meh about it so we didn't really get anything accomplished- until I got off and was walking him back home. The fastest way back is right next to the pasture of a particularly feisty spotted draft horse (Toby) who loves to charge the fence at us when we walk past.Well I didn't see him coming this time, but Coriander did and he almost jumped out of his skin, poor boy. But he didn't jump past the end of the reins, he jumped to my side and stopped. I was very impressed (and thankful, it would have killed my back), he trusts me enough to seek me out when he's scared and he respects the slack in the lead enough to keep it there even when he freaks out. He got a nice, long grazing break outside of the pasture while Toby could only stand there and watch. Served him right for scaring the wits out of my horse.
When I got back I grabbed Gwen, put the western saddle on her and took her for a walk. She's been a lot more relaxed since she's gone out with Rocky and Coriander and we've been able to get a lot further alone now. She was grazing nicely up by Mark's house (about 200 yards from the pasture and out of sight), when Mark's tractor started up. We were both pretty startled by it and Gwen tried to get the hell out of Dodge, but only to the end of the slack in the rope! Two horses in one day, I'm doubly impressed.
Lesson of the day: If you keep slack in the rope for your horses, your horses will keep slack in the rope for you too!