Today Pie and I had another good trail work session, much like yesterday's. We went about twice as far - perhaps 1/2 mile out and 1/2 mile back, doing the same type of work as yesterday, but having to do it less often because he was able to march along at the walk and also a nice slow trot for longer stretches without being distracted. I ride him on a loose rein, and have been keeping one hand on the front of my Mattes pad, which sticks up in the front gullet of the saddle - this is my version of the night latch that Trailrider refers to - I can't use one of those having nowhere to put it on my dressage saddle (must get Pie measured and Western trail saddle purchased/ordered . . .). I've been doing it to give me a baseline of confidence, because the spin's still in there. We were walking along a section of trail bordered by some bushes behind some houses when a lady in her yard suddenly popped into view. Spin! This one wasn't a full 180 but about 90 degrees, and as is more common than not when Pie spins, he stopped right there - no bolt or continued worry once the object was identified as not threatening. I guess I'd say he isn't spooky (nervous or looky) but rather just easily startled by visual surprises, and I'm expecting that it will wear off with time and miles. I stayed in the saddle just fine, probably due to my hand on the pad - cheating's just fine by me in this sort of case - I haven't got anything to prove and it helps me stay relaxed which helps Pie.
Pie and I just kept on trucking after that (we went back and forth over the same section of trail at walk and trot a few times) and he arrived back at the barn in a nice calm condition - better than yesterday. And there were no more incidences of nasty faces. Good Pie!
I wanted to take Dawn for a ride - it's been a while since I've ridden her - but when I was grooming her I found an aggravated bug bite - all scabby and swollen - just where the girth would lie at the bottom of her barrel, so she got another day off. Probably just as well - I was pretty emotionally tired after managing to ride Pie on the trail again - taking on Dawn when I'm feeling depleted isn't necessarily a good idea. Dawn's also got some skin crud and irritation going in the area of her neck where she had her welts from the wasp stings. She's got skin bits coming off and also some bumpy areas - I scrubbed the dead skin off (there's still hair and the skin bits seem to be coming up through the hair) - she liked that as it's itchy - and soaked it with some EQyss spray, which seemed to make her more comfortable. I put some on the girth area as well. I'll keep fly spray off those areas tomorrow and put some Swat on the girth area tomorrow to keep the flies off.
Drift was anxious for some attention, too - he's quite the sponge for it - and got a good grooming. He's looking more settled recently - his eye looks softer and he seems more relaxed.