Part of the plan was to work Brass at liberty and see if he would leave or stay. Like so much of what has been done with him this week, we've tried to get him to fail so then we can work on the correct response if he makes the wrong choice. A person usually wants to set a horse up for success but in this problem solving, if there is a hole somewhere we have to find it. Brass is a wise boy - he chose to stay and not run off.
Then as Ted was trotting along with Brass we heard this loud "Ping!" We all stop as we see a black object flying through the air! It went up high and landed a good 100 feet away. It was Brass' front Easyboot Epic. It had come off, the hind foot stepped on it and somehow the gaiter stretched and tore which launched that bugger. Brass didn't jump much but I had worked extensively yesterday with boots and such around his legs, loose flopping objects, etc. BUT this confirmed our very first question - did he bolt because he lost a boot or did he bolt out of the boots. Pretty convinced now the boot came off, and since he was zoned out it scared the heck out of him causing the spook and bolt. Maybe it hit him in the belly too. What if it hit him in the belly with the same kind of force that we saw send it skyward today? That would cause any horse to react! Not only react but not want to come back to the rider either!
It wasn't too much farther down the trail that he lost the other front boot. Normally these Epics stay on so I'm a bit surprised. Guess I need to readjust those cables! But right now it's great training. Ted said you could feel Brass bunch up and brace but he didn't bolt or anything bad. He put the boot back on. And we kept riding to the water as he and Terrence did circles, loped a bit, did one rein stops and more. Blue and I just ambled along. :)
Terrence rode Mudslide right into the creek and she loved it. She splashed and splashed!
Swallow nests in the rocks, I really love riding through here.
Also tonight Ted gave Brass a chance for his ADD to kick in, kinda let him zone out a bit. Then reached down and gave his neck a heavy pat and said BOO and that horse did jump. More proof that you can't go to sleep on him and or let him go to sleep under you.
Not only was it a pretty ride with friends but it was a great problem solving adventure. And the bolting mystery is solved! Time to move on!