It's 54 degrees out! I have all my windows open. It's a beautiful thing.
Okay, back to the horses... Today I took Tonka out for a walk for about two hours. We did lots of stuff. He helped me pick up the tarp from out in the pond/pasture. He wore it for most of the rest of our walk. Then we went the long way around to the other pasture and got a barrel that had blown way out there. Brought it back, gathered up the toboggan and a sled out by the sledding hill (now snowless). Got the other barrel out of Bella's pen and worked on backing through them without getting stressed or trying to go off to the side. I didn't nit-pick him other than to make sure he didn't completely veer off in avoidance. He did it nice and straight and soft using his own reasoning. Then we went down by the creek to check how full it is. Picked up a large sheet of plastic that had blown down there from who-knows-where. I wedged it in my back pocket and let him deal with it flapping. He really didn't care. We walked over the top of someone's feeding spot, there was a little jawbone and shoulder blade there. He did spook at the old farm machinery embedded in the creek bank. Just a jump and done with it though. I love the way he spooks. So brief.
I know I know, why was I walking rather than riding him? I think we have some holes to fill in. And we need to get comfortable with each other again. Something changed this past winter and we're more like opponents than buddies. So we're buddying up again. Which doesn't mean I'm giving him a bunch of treats. He'd eat me for lunch. I'm trying to be more giving. Give him time to make the right decision before correcting him. Give him space, give him his face, don't nit-pick to death and challenge him constantly. Just quietly ask, and keep asking if I need to, but stay quiet and give him a chance to be soft.
Alright, enough babbling... Not sure I'm making sense anyway. One last thing: I've decided Bella should have her baby on St. Patrick's day. Not because I like St. Patrick (quite the contrary) but because it would be kinda neat, and we could give him an Irish name.