It was another three-horse day - the weather was in the upper 30sF with only a little wind. Dawn and I had a nice session this morning - we did some leading work, again focussing on her relaxing her neck when moving to the right, and then we did some one-rein ground-driving/lungeing at the walk, ending up with a big cloverleaf pattern in both directions using most of the ring. Good Dawn! Tomorrow I'm hoping to do some trot work with her on the lunge - the ring's been dragged so the footing is much better.
Drifter was very perturbed and excited by the other horses going out to pasture for a while in the afternoon. But he was able to concentrate enough to do some nice leading work in the arena, and then we did some lungeing at the walk and trot. Good Drifter! We'll do more lungeing tomorrow, perhaps with a saddle on, and then move on to standing still at the mounting block after that.
Pie and I did a good work session in the arena at the trot, working on softening - he's up to 9 soft steps at the trot, but tired pretty quickly. Then we stood around for a bit waiting for Charisma to get ready. We were standing in the outdoor wash rack - this is four posts in a rectangle with a rubber mat on the grass in between. We were just sitting there on a loose rein, when I saw a group of children, adults and stroller approaching down the path. All of a sudden, one girl dressed in a pink jacket - I think she was about 8 or 9 - took off running, and instead of running down the path, she cut across and up and over the berm that's on the edge of the parking lot. I could see her coming, but apparently Pie couldn't. When she popped up over the berm, he spooked big time. There was a 180 degree rollback - he managed not to run us into any of the parts of the wash rack - followed by a bolt and when I started to turn him back in the direction of the girl, much rapid sideways movement - think sidepass at the gallop and you've got the idea. For some reason, I stayed right with him. As soon as he figured out that the scary object was just a small child, he relaxed and came back and stood there for a long time on a loose rein while all the children petted on him. One of his best characteristics is how he calms right down after a spook.
Then Charisma was ready and we went on a little trail ride with her, involving much trotting. We even got some nice softening during our trot work - Pie never braces which is another plus. Good Pie! Tomorrow we'll do some more softening work and probably another trail ride.