Phantom is typically good while grooming. I longe him outside in our gravel arena where he lets off some steam (good!). So we proceed to the covered arena and I mount up. "Ah," I think. "We'll do some walking, maybe try some loosening up exercises before moving to our trot work."
On the other side of our partial wall (our Mt. Hood view when mounted and the sky is clear) come Scary Sounds! Phantom is tight, sure that the Horse Eaters are about to burst through the wall. So I halt him beside the wall. Silence. "See? Nothing there." I squeeze Phantom forward into a walk and More Scary Sounds! Phantom spooks and spins away. Obviously I lied and I'm not to be trusted.
It seems our neighbors Chrissy and Phantom (buckskin Phantom versus my gray Phantom) are grazing and being silly in their pasture near our arena wall. Since my Phantom can't see the source of the noise, he's not taking any chances.
Okaaaay. Change of Riding Plan for today. I just visited the ER on Saturday and wasn't eager to return. I was out of commission for 8 weeks when I broke my wrist and I'm not looking for a rerun. Soooo -- no cantering. Instead, I worked my loop and circle pattern at a walk and then a trot. Actually worked Phantom into a round and relaxed posting trot. Did some sitting trot work (always takes me awhile to get with the rhythm) including some lateral work. All of this was done between the center line and the wall adjacent to the aisle. We don't dare cross the center line in case we encounter The Return of the Scary Sounds!
One never knows "which horse" you will be riding on any given day. The soft and cooperative one? The tense and spooky one? The one who lost all nerve receptors on the surface of his skin and cannot feel your leg? Or the one who has a death grip on the bit? And to think...they all reside in that adorable horse whose photographs you have plastered all over your work cubicle and blog site.
I guess it's part of the adventure of being a horse owner!