|Picture from my last ride, today I rode outside!|
While she's really well socialized I've been a bit nervous to bring her back to the barn since if she wasn't good with the horses it would be tough to manage her there without just bringing her back home and with the drive out 50+ minutes it wouldn't be nice to have to just turn around and bring her home.
Then yesterday I got an invite from H to go watch her ride at a really nice local show that was close to my house. Right away I thought of bringing Moshy with me but I knew it wasn't the best idea to test how well she'd do around horses there for the first time in a few months so I decided to start at my barn. I knew it would be quiet since most Sunday mornings there are a lot of people at church or sleeping in and I went for it.
Long story short, it went really well! I walked her a bit around the parking area and then carried her over towards the fence of a pasture with two quiet horses in it. I didn't get too close and she barked a couple times but they weren't spooked and when I gently scolded her she gave it up and just watched, interested to see what they would do. I eventually worked my way up to the fence and she was still calm and quiet. After that she never barked again! I walked her all over, introduced her to the old mostly blind barn dog, held her near the cross ties while a friend was grooming their horse and carried her while I walked Katai back to the pasture after my ride.
During my ride she hung out in her carrier in my car with all the windows open (it was in the low 70s and overcast so she stayed nice and cool) and I'm pretty sure she just slept. If I do this often I may get a plastic crate to keep in the back of my car just so that she has a nice secure place to stay while I ride if needed. If it's warm, I could put her in the air conditioned lounge instead. She was just so, so good and it felt so validating after all the work I've done.
My ride was pretty decent as well. Katai had her mare panties in a bundle and didn't want to pony appropriately but she let me help her loosen up and then we got some decent work and some of the best shallow serpentines at the canter that we've done where she really sat back and carried vs. just running. More on how we got there in a different post though!
After Katai was put away I stuck around and let Moshy run around a bit more and talked to friends. I didn't want to go home for an hour or two and then leave for the show but I also didn't want to get there too early. Eventually we left for the 1+ hour drive to the show grounds. I stopped for lunch, gas, and coffee along the way and Moshy mostly napped or watched me drive.
Once we got to the show grounds I crossed my fingers that she would remember and not bark and she came through! I carried her at first and we found the barn with H in it. She thought Moshy was adorable, as did many other people who stopped me to meet her, and gave her some pets while she was getting ready. We got there about an hour early so we had a chance to chat and for Moshy to meet a few dogs which she was a total lady about.
Eventually H was ready and we headed out to the arena to watch. Moshy made more friends and then sat quietly on my lap in the bleachers watching H put down a really good test that she ended up winning a blue for. After that we chatted a bit more and then I headed home with a nice sleepy puppy who immediately got a bath since her mop self had picked up most of the nasty things on the barn floor at that point.
I had so much fun and it was so nice to have a well behaved companion that I didn't need to worry about come with me and do all the things. I'm planning to make bringing her to the barn a regular thing!