I amaze myself with my ability to find something to worry about! I had thought that I would try to find someone to hack out with tonight after work, but as the wind picked up and I could see the trees waving at me through my classroom window, I made the decision that perhaps I would stay in the school for today. As I have said before, my experience with dressage horses built up an irrational fear of the wind, and I unfortunately let this extend into my riding of Echo.
However, when I arrived at the yard, my usual hacking partner happened to see me and ask if I fancied going out with her; I couldn't think of a viable excuse and therefore said I would. I rode her in the school for about ten minutes first, but she was stroppy and argumentative. This is one of the reasons I wanted to hack out in the first place - I want to keep her training varied, as I think she may be becoming slightly bored of the school. I have also decided not to ride her tomorrow and to do something different. I may lunge her somewhere new or loose school her - anything that is a bit different.
The hack was very good; despite her bolshy attitude, she was mostly relaxed and seemed to start to enjoy it. We had a funny moment, where we came across a pile of tyres by a run down shed. The horse in front shied quite violently and threatened to rear, and Echo looked absolutely horrified! I realised then how dependent she is on this horse, as when her 'rock' became scared she didn't know what to do. When the horse in front had finally gone past the object, Echo walked past quite calmly and simply looked at the object as if to say, 'You were scared of that?' We were out for at least forty minutes, which is good for Echo. She has a few issues balancing when walking down hills. I have to make her walk slowly, as otherwise she starts to pace and loses her balance. However, if she slows down she drops away from the horse in front and then feels she has to speed up again!
I'm pleased that I agreed to hack out in spite of the wind, as she really was unaffected by it and I would do well to remember that in future!