Then we took a 7-mile ride; we cantered and trotted on the way out and walked on the way back. On the way back we took a detour and cantered up a one-mile hill. At the top of the hill we stopped and she relaxed and ate grass. From there it was 2 miles back to home place but we took a one-mile excursion into the heavy woods and over the Flute-reed River.
The trot/canter tired her out a little. The canter up the hill tired her out some more. The grass eating was for our comradeship and for me to capture a couple of selfies. The ride through the woods was an attempt to get Ruby to forget about her fears and slow down and think. The beavers left a real obstacle course for a horse down on the Flute-reed. It has been helpful many times. She really does need to slow down and think to get over all those dead falls. The last finale was the river. All these things are scary for a horse, especially Ruby. I want to make them a mundane everyday part of her life. She will overcome her fears by facing them, as we all do.
Whenever she wanted to go faster or a different way than I wanted to go, I disciplined her by gently turning her head toward me. I held her head in this way until she relaxed and stood quietly. All the while I scratched and petted her neck, talking to her gently and reassuringly. She really did relax and stayed in that mood for some minutes after.
Ruby is no longer attached to Pearl, as I’ve mentioned before. But I can see that she still is somewhat herd bound. Even this is changing for the good in that she is willing to stop and eat grass quietly without pawing the ground and pushing to head home.