Red and Pie both got to employ their coping skills yesterday, and both did very well. It was a cold, windy and rainy day, so all the arena doors were closed - this was new for both of them. While I was riding Red, we were completely alone in the arena, except for people coming and going, knocking on and then opening and closing either the big overhead doors or the doors to the outside. Red found this all a bit alarming, particularly when he could hear people and horses moving around outside the now closed outside doors. And he was by himself - he's happiest when there are other horses in the arena - but he coped with that as well. His eyes were big, and there was some snorting, but he went right to work and we got in a very good session, with lots of trotting. He did this for me despite the fact he was still nervous - we had repeated episodes of pooping. Every day we work I try to work him up to the point of fatigue but not past it. The quality of his gaits tells me how we're doing - as he tires, his trot looses some of its impulsion. I told him what a fine Red horse he was.
Then Pie had the exact opposite circumstances to cope with - an extremely crowed ring with lessons going on and horses jumping. He also had to deal with the doors opening and closing, and did very well with that. He was less worried than Red had been, and we had an excellent walk/trot/canter ride, with lots of obstacle/horse avoidance. He cantered well in company and was able to navigate a number of pretty tight turns to avoid other horses. I was delighted with him, too, and told him so.
I'm proud of my boys - they've both come a long ways and just keep getting better.