So this week it was wet at the barn. Really wet. I was lucky enough that the torrential downpours we’d had for the past several days subsided and it was nice and sunny, but unfortunately nearly everything – including Luc’s field and the sand ring – was underwater. So when life gives you rain, you practice going through puddles!
It was actually the perfect opportunity to get Luc some practice at going through water, which is something he’s proven on several occasions he’d really rather not do. We walked into the sand ring and I was pleasantly surprised when it only took a small amount of encouraging to get Luc through the first small puddle. We made our way down to the far end of the ring where there was a much larger puddle that actually had some depth to it.
With a little more encouragement than with the first one, Luc walked bravely into the water and out the other side. I’ll admit it did feel a little strange though, seeing how he was picking his feet up about twice as high as he normally does. We walked through it a few times in each direction and then picked up a trot.
Splish, splash through the puddle we went. He did drift suspiciously toward the grassy area, but all four feet went through the puddle, so I’m calling it a success. We trotted through the water a few more times in each direction and then it was on to the canter. That proved a little more difficult. Luc would canter in the puddle, but break to trot before coming out the other side. We tried a few times in each direction, and he broke gate every time.
I decided not to get after him for breaking gait because I wanted the puddle experience to be a positive one. In the past he hasn’t even been willing to put one foot in the water, so this was a huge improvement and I’m happy with it. I did finish by asking him to trot calmly through the water and that’s exactly what he gave me. I’m so proud of the big grey beast!
Since the ride was a little on the short side due to the less than ideal footing conditions, I decided to take Luc out into the surrounding fields to cool out. I was a bit hesitant as the first time I took him out into the fields last year did not go that well. This time, however, he was happy to walk along calmly, occasionally trying to take a big bite of the grass that was high enough it had to be almost tickling his belly.
Even though it was a short ride, it was a great one. I can’t believe I’m actually looking forward to the next time we get a big rainfall!