Red is settling down very nicely. He has got used to going out with the geldings, and no longer calls for Dee. I think his thorough enjoyment of the lush grass in the new field has compensated for being parted from her. He no longer shows any distress at leaving her and tonight was perfectly relaxed and comfortable in the arena.
'ö-Dzin rode Red in the arena this evening - practising transitions, getting him to stop and stand, and generally asking him to listen. He behaved beautifully and 'ö-Dzin found it really useful to be able to practice these, and also trotting and cantering without needing to cope with avoiding trees and overhead branches.
It will be useful to have access to an arena again to work with Red a little. He is a good horse, and a kind horse - he just doesn't realise he is so big and strong and can be dangerous if he is not paying attention. I think he has the potential to be a really good horse because he is willing, responsive and unflappable. Nothing perturbs him when we are out on a hack. However he can be a little belligerent sometimes and lacking in manners, but we hope this will improve as we work with him more often.
I am only 5 ft 2 and have suffered a few horse-related injuries in the last couple of years, so I am not as strong and robust as I used to be around horses. My right knee and left arm are weak, so I always have to be aware of this when leading Red or Dee and coping with their unpredictability. As well as being a spooky Mare, Dee can also be quite mischievous. This is actually one of the things I like about her - she has such character. However occasionally if something has excited her, she may decide to just take off when being led, and I have learned the hard way that there is not much I can do to stop her when she does. I have a pressure halter that I use with her when she is in a naughty mood and knowing she is wearing it is usually sufficient to elicit good behaviour.
Red is a very vocal horse and always whinnies when we arrive at the yard. This seems to have caught on with Dee and she now whinnies as well. This must be one of the most delightful aspects of owning horses - the noises they make: nickering in greeting, the low, deep whinny that says they know you are about to feed them, neighing across the field, and snorting with interest or excitement.