green with envy!). Yesterday I schooled a pent-up Lance for awhile in the arena, then headed down our gravel lane to get the mail. I thought about going to the other end of the gravel lane where Brian and I rode (and I snapped the last post's photo) earlier in the week, but by the time we conquered the paved road it was time to head home.
You see, we live on a dead-end gravel lane intersected by a paved road, and the mailboxes are next to the paved road. When my son and I rode Tuesday, the paved road was wet and Lance was just sure it was a waterway – even though it didn't act like water. He was leery, but the steadying influence of Brian's been-there, done-that pony got him across and back.
Yesterday the pavement was dry so I thought it would be a non-issue. Wrong. Lance crab-walked back and forth along the edge of the pavement for several minutes until I finally got him across. (I had to abort a couple of attempts because of passing cars.) But he didn't cross at the intersection, so we ended up in a muddy field that had been a cherry orchard until recently. There he acted alarmed at the MUD, staring at it with head lowered and ears forward while backing up! I was worried he was going to step in one of the root areas and hurt himself so I jumped off, then lead him back and forth over the pavement several times. Once I remounted, it was easier to get him to cross the road under saddle; we practiced that until he relaxed and stopped reacting.
The green field in the photo is volunteer oats on the other side of the paved road from the mailboxes. After I snapped that photo, Lance seemed to realize he was "all alone in the world" and whinnied loudly – the first time I've heard his voice. He got a little up on his toes, but we made it home without incident.
It's all training!