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I had no idea that a wheelie bin covered in a floral sticker would cause me  trouble

Riley normally hacks along this lane without any problems. Trust it to be bin day this time
Whilst drinking my morning coffee on Monday morning before heading to the stables I had no idea that a wheelie bin covered in a floral sticker would cause me  trouble, but trouble it did. After schooling Riley, I decided that it would be nice to hack down the lane at the back of the livery yard.  Now I am aware that Monday is bin collection day however there only a handful on houses on the lane and Riley has walked past the bins and the bin lorry before, so I hadn’t anticipated any problems.

It was scary, really scary

Whilst he usually takes a look at each bin, he does walk past them without complaint that was until the aforementioned floral covered bin.  Now we are not talking bright floral patterns, more a discrete white and green so not that dissimilar to the normal green colour of the bin however apparently it was scary, really scary.  No matter how much I kicked on or patted him with encouraging words he made it absolutely clear he was not walking past the bin.  He backed up, he tried to turn round and whilst I managed to point him in the right direction again and make him take a couple of steps forward that is as far as I could get he was steadfast. At which point I thought my only option was to dismount and walk him past and whilst he did in the end walk past, he wasn’t particularly keen even with me by his side.  I walked him in hand to the end of the lane and past the offending bin again then further down the lane mounted.

I lost count of how many times I had to halt him

It’s funny how Riley can go from being a perfect gentleman to being a bit cheeky. Here I am trying to make sure that we don’t get too close to any hay. Riley has his eye on some that has been dropped on the floor but I am ahead of the game
Over the next couple of days, I schooled him without any dramas until towards the end of the week when he wasn’t as willing or as well behaved as he should be.  I should have realised very quickly that the schooling session may not be the best when he didn’t want to stop at the mounting block.  Normally he stands still whilst I mount and waits for his polo however I had to keep stopping him from moving and even when I was onboard I lost count of how many times I had to halt him as I hadn’t actually given the aid for him to move forward.

Next was the leg yield

Next was the leg yield where he seemed to be moving in the opposite direction to what I was asking as he just ignore my leg aid and moved into the middle of the manege instead of out towards the fence.
Ups and downs has been the story of this week. Maybe next week will see more progress

It is often surprising what a horse finds scary

You think this may have deterred me from hacking down the lane, but it didn’t.  We had only gone a short distance when Riley jumped, startled by who knows what, then he spotted someone fixing their letter box at the entrance to their property and decided he didn’t want to walk past and turned around to head back to the yard.  Once we were facing the right direction again it took some persuasion to convince him that there was nothing to worry about. It is often surprising what a horse finds scary each one is different and often it is not the things you would expect.  
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Sharon Howe

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