Harley had three rides last week. Day 1, dressage, moderate intensity. Day 2, the creaky tree. Day 3, more dressage, high intensity.
So, back to Day 2. I decided the weather was truly delightful for a walk down the road. I took a pre-walk with Mo, let him canvas the neighborhood. We didn't see much worth even glancing at. He and I made it five driveways away, and then turned back. I knew Harley and I wouldn't make it so far, and figured we were good.
Saddled Harley dressage, and, as I hopped on, I had a hunch that wasn't enough saddle to hang on to quietly. Figured I need to start trusting Harley outside of the arena. Off we went.
He reached CRNG's driveway, and stopped dead. Head up, and he tried to trot off forward (away from home). I got him stopped 3 strides in, and he stood again, shaking. I wasn't entirely sure what was bothering him, so I hopped off, and listened.
Ah, CRNG has a creaky tree in his front yard. The wind was howling so harsh, it was bending a tree stump, and the noise was new with me on top. Once Harley relaxed, we walked another two driveways, and came on home. He did great. He crunched rocks the whole way down the road, and rustled up the dry leaves on the roadside.
Every time I have a "trail ride" on Harley, I realize my confidence in our partnership evaporates as soon as we leave the arena fence. It is not lost on my humor side, either, that I have the confidence to ask for simple lead changes, and jump small fences, yet I'm a nervous wreck walking down the road off property.