It is so wonderful to see our relationship with Red growing and deepening. On Saturday we went into Coed y Wenallt – me walking and 'ö-Dzin riding. Red definitely enjoys this arrangement.
On the way home Red walks rather fast. When we first had him he used to continually break into a trot, unbidden, on the way home. He no longer does this, and it was not difficult to break him of the habit, but instead he walks fast. Consequently when I am on foot, I find it difficult to keep up with him. There are a couple of places I can take a pedestrian shortcut on a footpath and catch up, but inevitably I still lose him towards the end of the trail. On Saturday however, without 'ö-Dzin having to ask, Red stopped two or three times and waited for me to catch up. I was so touched by this. As soon as I was ahead of him again he started off. He would walk beside me for a while again, and then it would be as if he just couldn't help himself – he had to walk faster, and would get ahead of me. I feel it shows great self restraint for him to wait for me – and hopefully the beginnings of a strong connection.
I rode Red out on my own this evening. He came to call in the field and was happy to come in with me. It was about an hour before sunset when we set off and the woodland was quite spooky in the gathering dusk. Red was a little edgy, but behaved well. He was responsive and we had a couple of short, but enjoyable canters. This time he walked home even faster than usual – so much so that it was quite a challenge to remain relaxed and deep in the saddle his body was moving so much, especially downhill. He was certainly keen to get home for his feed and a warm stable.