We are back out on the trails again. My confidence is back and I am feeling like I felt a year ago. Long time, but guess it takes the time it takes. When I do our groundwork Cici is sighing that LBI sigh of 'Oh no not again'. I tell her I need a walk trot canter check before we go out. So she walks trots canters and then stops and looks at me. I say both directions - LBI sigh and she goes in the other direction.
She is confident, but she is listening to me. We have been going on parts of trails we haven't been before - and its intriguing when she begins to lose her confidence a little and I hear her snorts. Then she feels things are okay and the little snorts go away.
First time I heard the snorts we were on a flat trail with a hill on one side and woods on the other. Now we have been riding in these woods all along. But this was a new piece of trail. Clearly she knew that. While my friend's horse welcomes the newness Cici is a bit more cautious. The second time we did the trail she was fine.
There is a tree down across the trail. Its a BIG tree and now way to bushwack around. I tell her to be sure to pick up her feet. She gets her front legs over - notices a delicious green morsel on the ground and stops for a snack before walking her hind end over.
We have also gone across to the street to another person's property where the trails are in deep woods that have not been walked on so much. We wind our way through a field of ferns. It is so quiet and still. Get a bit of snorting. My friend's horse is enjoying the variety and Cici quiets down. When we come to an open field the snorts appear again. I work on remaining relaxed and keep those hips swinging when she is snorting.
Finally we are heading back and have to walk by a paddock with two horses. One gallops up behind us and I am worried. Cici was fine, she disengaged when I asked, but I realized I was tight and worried. So I dismounted. And both of us sighed and relaxed. What an amazing idea - to be able to dismount and break the cycle of tension!