Poor Rhio! Today was not his day. We intended to have a little fun play in the arena with Christine & Tomas, and Teresa & Sweetie. Instead, we had moments of shear terror, and moments of expecting the shear terror.
You see, the arena & the sun’s melting rays were conspiring against us. Chunks of ice & snow were randomly releasing & sliding down the fabric roof, accompanied by sudden, very odd noises. Large chunks go “woosh” then a muffled “thump” when they land on the snowbank at the bottom. Small chunks make a “chitter, chitter” noise as they slide all the way down. Also, if you are facing the south side of the arena when they go, you can see them sliding down & off the domed roof.
Sweetie was perfectly blasé about the whole experience, merrily trotting along (on the scary south side of the arena in this photo, no less!). Tomas gave Christine a few really good spooks but was able to work. Rhio, on the other hand, went from bad to worse and wouldn’t go anywhere near the south side of the arena. At the point that I could feel his heart pounding in his chest through the saddle, I decided he’d had enough and we went outside for a little tromp in the woods. Some wonderful person drove a piece of heavy equipment along our trail out back and across the hayfield, making lovely packed tracks with decent footing and Rhio & I trotted & cantered along letting the stresses of the terror-filled indoor arena fade away into memory.