Today was sunny and warm-ish and a perfect day for a fall trail ride. Sadly, there wasn't anyone out at the barn to go with me when I got there. So instead, Licorice and I worked on our sitting trot and canter transitions.
After a short but effective workout, I took him outside to ride around a little bit. By this time there was a lesson in the arena and Licorice's buddy was getting tacked up in the aisle way. I got on outside and was walking on a loose rein towards the barn. Our barn is small, so it's like riding in the front yard. Something spooked Licorice and he jumped a little sideways.
We moved on and kept walking. We went around the side and then came back down. Licorice was definitely more up than he has been previously. Then, as we were heading back to the 'front lawn' Licorice suddenly scooted and took off. And by took off, really he trotted two steps, flung his head up and cantered one step. I pulled him to a halt and looked around.
One of the teenagers at the barn was walking up the driveway. Licorice and I walked over, said hello, she gave him a scratch. We walked around a little bit more, but he was tense and I was tenser.
The upside of this is that Licorice is a different spooker from Tessa. He still does the scoot and bolt, but he's just not as athletic as Tessa. His body can't get out from underneath me the way Tessa could. She's got that Arab athleticism on her side, but Licorice doesn't. It was much easier to sit and though he was tense afterwards, he was willing to go right back to work.
I really need to make a plan to get him out more. The key is going to be getting him outside and on the trails more often, not less often. My barn just doesn't have a lot of folks (ie: there are NONE) that go out unless it's to shows. And since it's not show season, well....people just aren't going anywhere.
I'm going to email my trainers and ask if we can put together a plan to go out at least once a month. I want to do it now before it becomes more of a THING in my head.
Edited to add: I wrote this on Tuesday. It's now Friday and I haven't been out to the barn since. I definitely need to not let this get underneath my skin. Man, it's hard to be a worrier some days.