Yesterday was a frigid one here in Kentucky at least by my standards, though I am admittedly cold natured. It didn't get above 23 degrees all day! I feel bad complaining about that when my family in Minnesota is dealing with negative temps :-)
I decided that it was time to start trying to reintroduce "poles" into Alex's routine, so I put one in the middle of the arena for us to trot back and forth over. After a little lunging warm up, we started our ride. Although he was better than the day before he was still so anxious looking around, finding boogie men in all the corners. It took a lot of stretching and trotting to get him even remotely relaxed. The first go at the trot pole was interesting. The first time he hop/jumped it, then he tapped it a few times trying to figure out where to put his feet.
As with most green horses, his canter is where we really struggle. It's gotten and is getting to much better on the lunge, but with me in the saddle he's still learning to balance. We were cantering around to the right, doing pretty well avoiding/getting over the potential boogie men, when all the sudden Alex turned on the jets. For a moment I was even startled, because his back dropped out from under me, his head shot up and I felt like I was riding an ostrich! In the midst of yelling whoa! and trying to get him stopped, I realized an orange cat had been running along the platform in the indoor next to the arena and had scared the living daylights out of him! I couldn't believe it... a CAT! All that panic over a CAT! His bravery is severely in question :-)
After getting him settled back down, the rest of the ride was fairly uneventful. A couple more passes over the trot pole, without any taps, and I called it a day. We had worked hard, but I was sweating more than he was!
It is worth noting that when I went out to put hay in Alex's paddock before I went home, I realized yesterday's hay was still there, untouched. He was in all day since it was cold... that explains a lot.