This photograph was taken on Sunday. We just about managed to grab a half hour in the arena between the bursts of torrential rain. 'ö-Dzin rode Red first and he was really good and willing. Then our friend—who you can see in the picture—rode him, and Red was a little naughty. You could almost see him thinking, “Who is this? Why do I have to have this person on my back that I don’t know?’ He kept doing little bucks if she asked for anything more than a walk – and even the walk was reluctant. He’s a funny lad.
Last week I took him on another slightly adventurous ride. We went the road way to Rhiwbina Hill and then back through Coed y Wenallt. This is the first time that we have ridden this route on our own and he did get a little nervous, but behaved well despite this.
This morning he was in a mood. I had to put a headcollar on him and tie him in the end, because he would not stand still to be groomed and tacked, and I was not keen on being bitten or trampled. I know he is a bit ticklish under his belly, but this morning he was being excessively silly about the mud being removed. We then rode the Coe y Wenallt circuit – through the wood and back down the road. He was less nervous about the far end of the ride this time. However we have had a lot of really strong winds here over the last week, and there was quite a lot of debris on the trail. This made him rather spooky.
He is a funny horse. I prefer to ride on quite a loose rein, but this is not always possible with Red because he is likely to suddenly head off the track into the undergrowth if I let my concentration lapse. The track is clearly visible, but he just seems to like to wander off it if he is given the chance. On one of 'ö-Dzin’s first rides on Red—before we were aware of this idiosyncracy—Red quietly walked into a hedge. It was quite tricky for them to extricate themselves from its prickliness, and the only way out was to back him. This seems like a strange thing for a horse to do. Does anyone else have a horse with this habit?