We had some great trailventures this weekend as well! We went out with D and Sky, Kwik's pasture buddy and best good friend on Saturday. We rode ALL OVER THE FARM, and Kwik was as happy- go-lucky as it gets. We even rode up to the stadium jumping arena and did some trotting. He was attentive and relaxed, and it was great to have accomplished that since our last trip up to the dressage arena didn't go so well. We were headed down the trail back to the barn when huge storm clouds and gale force winds blew in. I could almost hear Kwik ask, "Umm, this is a little scary. Should I be scared? Do you want me to gallop back to the barn?" I wanted to get off and lead him back, but I knew this was one of those merit badge moments, and I could tell Kwik wanted to earn his. He was waiting for me to tell him what to do and how to act, so I sat back, relaxed my arms, took a deep breath, and continued on like I wasn't concerned and he didn't need to be either. That's all it took, and he relaxed and calmly walked back to the barn, gale force winds and all. As soon as we got back, it started to pour. Perfect timing!
Kwik and I have a ways to go until we are completely dialed in, but that moment really boosted our trust and confidence in each other. I think that ride was a major turning point for us, and our rides from here on out will only get better and better as a result. Today's ride was certainly a case in point. We headed out with J and Annie, and I felt relaxed and confident the majority of the time. We even walked through the cross country course, and, while I could tell Kwik wanted to let loose and enjoy the wide open spaces, he knew he needed to listen to me and did so willingly. He's looking to me for direction now, and I'm consciously trying to give him a confident ride. I think I might have earned a merit badge myself this weekend!