Tonight I rushed home from work, grabbed a slice of leftover chocolate cake and went out to hitch up the float.
Indy waslked away from me in the paddock (stopping once she realised I had oats and Scarlett was scoffing them!), loaded first time despite Scarlett carrying on in the background and travelled quite well, arriving a tad hot and sweaty on her neck and stomach.
I took her for a bit of a wander around the club grounds. We nearly got eaten - twice! - by a Very Scary Cross Country Jump, and there was a very suspect patch of grass (she ate it before it could get her). After she'd settled, I took her back to the float and tacked her up, then proceeded to do little bits of groundwork around the four open paddocks. She was not keen to stand still for long but settled nicely. We checked out lots of scary things: show jumps, poles on the ground, jump stands, the picnic table outside the club rooms, and much more.
We did that for about 30-45 mins (I have no idea how long, really!) then I took her to the emptiest paddock and put her out on one line. There was a pair of jump poles on the ground together so our circles involved walking over that a few times. I also asked her to trot over it but she found it easier to jump ;)
The short burst of trot work yeilded a pony with a definite overstep in the walk. We chilled out for a bit as she was happy to just stand around and take the world in.
I thought she was doing really well so put on her bridle and got on. A few slightly hairy moments (she's never been in such a busy place before) but basically all good: for the most part, we had stop, go, left and right on command. She was very responsive, again offering some trot but we didn't do more than a few strides.
I did a couple of "half steps" of TOF in each direction then got off. She exceeded my expectations and coped very well: I am very pleased with her.
I noticed that with everything else going on, I really had to remember to know what I was asking for and how I was asking for it. I had to pay extra attention to simple things like lowering her head: with so many distractions, it was very easy for her attention to wander! She will only get better as she gets out more.
On the homewards trip she loaded first go and travelled quietly except down the driveway when Scarlett started calling out. Trotted off the second I let her go and was not interested in any more oats!!