I haven't ridden Dawn in about a week. For those of you who may be new here, Dawn isn't my horse, she is my younger daughter's horse and my daughter is away at college. If you're interested in what Dawn is like and what we've been working on together, visit this post. When I rode Dawn last week, she was hyper-alert, spooky and wanting to go/bolt - not a very safe ride, even in the arena, particularly since I don't have a saddle that fits her and I've been riding bareback. Dawn's one of those horses who reacts strongly to the weather, and as it gets colder, she gets more, well, "spicy". She's a fun horse to ride in many ways - extremely responsive and full of forward - you can do a lot with that and we've been having some fun doing that in the arena.
I also think she's wanting to go on the trail - when I jump on she immediately heads that way - and I feel sorry that I can't take her there - she's just got too many fast moves for me - when I was my daughter's age I could stay on for stuff like that but I'm not at all sure I could any more. My daughter always takes her on the trail, and I think she misses that - she's a smart and curious horse.
I think she may also be somewhat jealous of Pie - his stall is just across the aisle from hers and she can see how much time I spend with him and how I'm constantly riding him away from the barn and down the trail. She expresses her opinion by being somewhat aloof and occasionally pinning her ears and even threatening to nip (which I quickly make clear isn't OK even if you are crabby).
I'm not entirely sure what to do with Miss Dawn. Riding her right now doesn't seem like that good an option - perhaps some scary obstacle work with clicker or some lungeing work would do the trick (although she's not very fond of lungeing, she does it extremely well). I'd like to keep her in work so she stays "connected" to me and doesn't "drift off", if that makes any sense to you. Hmmm . . . . I'll have to think about that . . .