In his riding warm up, I did all the things there I would do at home. A few differences .. There were other people in the riding area, one lady longing, another girl riding. Another difference... wide open space, no fences... Difference #3, fire hydrant in the middle of the warm up area. You what?! Not paying attention, I nearly pointed Harley right at it trotting along. Oops! Heads Up, Momma!
He was quiet. He was relaxed. Okay, shoot. Let me call it what it was. He. Was. Lazy! Lazy!!! I was adding LOTS of leg to get a good forward walk, and even more for a forward trot. I played with it a little, saw that I could get a decent western pleasure jog, and while he wasn't "nose to the dirt", he was relaxed..
R alerted us, "Hey! They're calling for walk/trot riders in the arena." I stayed aboard, and we walked him over to the warmup area. They were only taking a head count at that point. The arena opened up yet again for riders. Little Pee Wee costume riders and their ornamented horses came out of the arena, into the warm up area. Harley took a look, but hardly noticed how silly they were all dressed. I walked him up into the big open arena, and figured I would stay just at a walk, do lots of halts, and mostly let him look around. When I realized how quiet he was being, how easy and nonchalant, I picked up the trot, and worked on as loose a rein as I could, just letting him take in the sights.
What a warm up ride in all the traffic. We had horses bucking, rearing up, hopping up their hineys, and general LACK of arena courtesy. Parents! Heads Up! If you don't know arena etiquette, go read a book. Teach your kids. Adult riders - Little Fluffy's Equine head isn't going to fall off his neck, so stop looking at it! LOOK UP! We were nearly clobbered in the chaos a few times. Nevertheless, I found it fun. Harley was completely unphased by it, and only suddenly startled once, when a lady rode beside us less than 5" from her stirrup to mine. "Sorry", she said as she got too close. "Yeah, you are", I replied. This same lady was hanging on her horse's curb bitted face, and spurring him, all at the same time. The horse was understandably angry with her, and responded appropriately.
We departed the arena while folks participated in a paid called warm-up class. Harley nearly fell asleep, but was woke up by a random lady complimenting "how cute he is". Right about then I realized, he was the only grey horse at the show.
Knowing Harley was so quiet and relaxed in his walk and trot work