Now for all of you who've been asking for Pie pictures, here are a few I took this morning at turnout time (and of course there are some of Dawn too).
Here is Pie coming over to the fence - he was the only one out at that point:
Here's the extremely kissable snip in close-up:
Here he is looking over the fence at Dawn - you can see his distinctive Roman nose:
And here's Dawn looking back - she was unusually interested in him this morning - they got to sniff noses and she thought that was pretty interesting:
Here Dawn's biting a handy post, perhaps in lieu of biting Pie or just out of frustration that she couldn't get closer:
Now she's spotted the other mares coming to turnout:
And she's off:
Here's Misty running to greet her:
Then the mares did some running and cavorting - Dawn did a number of her signature moves including huge rears and bucks, but all I caught was this:
Pie (on the left) greeted Scout (on the right) and Fritz (in the middle) as they were turned out (that's Jill of Buckskin and Bay trying to constrain Scout and that's my shadow in the lower left corner):
Here they are from the back - I love the contrast of light and dark and the sets of ears:
It was a beautiful day - frosty early and quickly warming up, with hardly any wind, so Pie and I went on a trail ride with Jill and Scout as well as Sugar and Charisma. Here are a couple of pictures of Pie just before we set out (I'm keeping a halter and lead on right now in case I need to dismount and lead him for any reason):
He's pretty fussy with his mouth right now, I think because he needs his teeth done and also because he's probably still shedding caps as he gets his permanent teeth. I'm ordering one of these bridles and will probably ride him in that until his teeth get done.
We rode for a fairly long time - at least an hour - and did lots of trotting. Pie was very well-behaved, although he had some trouble keeping up at the trot with Charisma's and Scout's very fast long-strided trots - he keep saying "but I'm supposed to do a relaxed slow trot that can go all day!" He's also a little short-strided - sort of floaty but with more up and down. But even when he fell behind a bit while trotting, he didn't fuss or try to break to a canter/lope, he just kept trotting. His gaits will improve somewhat as he learns to soften and engage his core instead of sticking his head up in the air, but I'm not doing any softening work with the bit because of his teeth. The leather sidepull will be just the thing so we can get some softening work done. That's just young-horse stuff, and he's got the conformation to use himself better than he does now.
As we came to one fork, Scout and Charisma broke off to go another way. I deliberately took Pie with Sugar - he's pretty attached to Scout who is a member of his herd. He clearly would have preferred to go with Scout, but did what I asked and went with Sugar. We did more trotting on the way back to the barn, and he continued to be great even though we were heading home. When we got to the barn, Sugar went inside and I kept riding, up and down the trails adjacent to the barn.
Pie called and called - I think he was torn between wanting to go back to the barn and wanting to find out where Scout was. We trotted back and forth, and did some standing still as well. He continued to call, but the worst thing he did was shake his head once in frustration, nothing else, and he still did everything I asked although he was anxious. Then we went into the arena and did some circles and figure eights at the trot, after side-passing up to the gate, unlatching it and dragging it open. We continued to work as Scout and Charisma came back to the barn, and then finished up with a brief lope up the grassy incline behind the barn. I dismounted out there (I dismount somewhere different on every ride) and led Pie back, telling him again what an excellent horse he is!