This hot, dry summer drags on, but Stella and I still work regularly, learning how to dance together. I either ride in the evening after the heat breaks (last night we were treated to the above sunset), or in the morning before the day warms up too much, like today.
Last night she didn't offer to canter, but this morning she did, just a stride or two on the circle to the left. The left lead is the only one she's offered so far, but I know it will all come in time.
After we were finished schooling, I rode Stella out of the arena and towards the barn. As usual, she indicated a desire to walk up the drive away from the barn. I had time, so I indulged her. She stopped before she got to our electric gate when something caught her eye. I asked her to walk farther, and then on a whim, I opened the walk-through gate from the saddle – and we walked through for the first time! We turned right and walked up the hill past two neighbors to the winery's driveway, then turned around and walked back, past our driveway and partway down through the neighbors' lot on our south. Stella was willing to go further in both directions, but I didn't want to ride her on gravel without shoes or overface her. She was delightfully forward and bold and I was just so proud of her!
Lance continues to have a rough year with allergies. He has lots of bug bites in spite of insect repellant; his eyes look itchy and irritated but he won't keep a fly mask on. Last night I finally put on his bug sheet, and it seemed to bring some immediate relief and relaxation. Guess he'll be wearing it 24/7 for as long as it lasts and doesn't cause problems itself.