Ride 8: a month later; mount up, ride around the house and down to the road. I decide that I'm still not up for another terrorizing country ride just yet. We plod down the county rd. A vehicle comes up behind us and we step off the side of the road. I allow him to turn and watch as the vehicle goes by. He steps back onto the road willingly and trys to break into a run after the vehicle. Crazy horse! We go up to the culvert and he sees the shining pipe sticking out at each side of the road. He won't go over it but we manage to go off the road and around the pipe. Back on the road we ride up the hill. I have the idea that maybe he'd like to meet Jericho since he'll have to meet her eventually anyways. I call up my MIL and she says Yes I can ride to her house. We ride down the road. We get to the bottom without much ado other than him calling wildly to the other horses that live right there. I dismount and lead him through the gate, off of our pasture land and into the alley way by the county road. I figure out that if I stand him next to the county road in the bar ditch and I stand on the road's surface I can just manage to climb back on. I do so. We walk a couple steps. Prancing the entire way because all he wants to do is go play with the horses. I sigh and dismount again. I lead him past them and mount again. We ride a few more steps. The next house has a huge dog that runs out barking. Thankfully he doesn't spook but absolutely refuses to go any further. I dismount. It takes me 20 minutes to coax him past the dog. I mount again as hubby drives up in car (he's supposed to pick me up at MIL's so Josh can stay a bit). He opens gate into pasture by MIL's and I turn thankfully off the road into it. We ride up the road, Jumping slightly when a bird flies but otherwise not reacting. We get to where the tractor is parked along the road and he balks at that. You dingy horse you've been walking past that at our place. Suddenly he catches the sound and smell of Jericho. Tractor is forgotten as he whinies joyfully! Forward. I manage to slow him from his trot back to a fast walk. He's paying so much attention to Jericho that he isn't paying attention to where we are going. He steps into some mud and spooks. I manage to hang on as he leaps about 5 feet forward before walking again like nothing happened. I was very relieved to be there finally. The intro went well and he spent the weekend.
Ride 9: I decide I'll ride him home instead of trailering. I must be an idiot! We plod down the road (we took the driveway instead of the pasture road so that we'd go by more houses on the county road since I know he needs to get over the previous problems). We stop every 10 feet and whinny madly. When we finally get out of ear shot of Jericho he walks willingly to the road. Hubby drives ahead slowly and parks by gates to let us out. Shys slightly at hubby...what's up with that??! We walk past the first house and their dogs rush out suddenly barking. We're off to the races! Stop you nutso horse it's okay! I'm still alive and alright...good. Shaky but determined I ride past the other dog's house, he's not out today. I ride past the horses' pasture, they're too far away to care. I ride up the road towards our house. Hubby drives past and goes home since there's no more gates. We get 3/4 of the way up the hill and suddenly Josh realizes he's not out just a pleasure ride, he's going home. Feet planted. I prod and coax and kick determined not to give in ad not to get off. We make it to the top of the hill. No further. I dismount and start to lead him. I have never had a problem leading him as he's been cooperative to that since I got him. I take the lead rope and start walking. I come up short. I read somewhere that if a horse refuses to move you just keep walking in place and don't look back. This has always worked before when he's slightly balked at something. Not moving though today. Knowing I don't have a shot at overpowering him I nonetheless try...I pull and I tug...we go backward two steps. I sigh. I stop. We stand at the top of the hill and I scratch and talk for 10 min. I try leading again. Nothing. Now I'm frustrated and lost. I take him back even a little ways and he wins but the only place I could get Tim to bring the trailer is at the bottom of the hill. Otherwise he'd have to go past me with it, turn around and then go past us again. I talk and scratch some more. Lead...nothing. I try pulling again...nothing. We stand there. I decide there's only one thing to do and hope I won't regret it. I take the end of the lead rope and whack his butt with it...Hard. He jumps about 2 ft forward. Gives me an awful look and starts walking again. At the bottom of the hill I mount again and we ride the rest of the way home.
He stood out in the pasture for a week barely eating and staring towards MIL's before I gave in and hauled him back (in the trailer). I've ridden 2-3 times since then but not more than about 300-500 feet. He shys away from having the saddle put on and the longer he's at MIL's the "spookier" he gets. He jumps at everything now. I need to get him back here where he's closer to work with and less spooky but we don't have a companion here and he's obviously miserable without one. Lose lose situation. I think I'm going to go back to the basics and start lungeing exercises with him. *sigh* I'm also going to hire a different trainer when we can spare the money and have them put 60 rides on him.