Fred and I had the beginnings of some good remedial gate work this morning. As I was leading Fred and Fritz out, our local landfill started firing off rockets to scare off the seagulls - they make a whizzing and then a banging sound. Fred thought this would be a good excuse for a spook and bolt. If Fred seems a bit "up", I keep his nose tipped towards me so that if he does take a leap or go up - his two favorite moves - his shoulder will be away from me. Fred has been known to run people down when he's in a state. I recovered him from where he'd stopped at the end of the lead, and had him do some head-downs - this sometimes helps him "collect" himself (or at least his brain). At the gate to the pasture, Fritz stood patiently while Fred went into and out of the gate four or five times. By the last time, I was able to ask him to stop every few steps while exiting the gate and stand there for a moment on a loose lead. Of course he didn't have Scout on his heels to scare him, either. This afternoon I plan to take him out of the pasture first, and with luck while there are no other horses near the gate so he can feel safe while we practice.
Our trails are down to the hard-packed ice that was under the snow, although we're supposed to hit 50F today and have some more rain, so some of that may go away, except in the shaded areas which will take longer. I'm hoping the rain holds off this afternoon so Maisie and I can ride, assuming we can find any place where the footing is at least passable.