Sunday morning, Brett and I rode at 6am to beat the heat. Lucy and I headed up to the dressage court while Brett and Mufasa worked in the small arena. As I was stepping up on the mounting block to get on Lucy, Tuffy ran up to the fence corner bucking and snorting, with his ears flying behind him. He slid to a stop and Lucy looked over at him. Oh, you. The wanna be dressage donkey. That looked more like reining than dressage dude.
Lucy and I walked into the arena and started our warm-up. Tuffy was joined by Finessa in an early morning romp. The two donkeys ran around the oak tree, bucked, with a ka-thunk as Finessa's hind feet made contact with Tuffy's chest, then a race down the pasture, through the dry pond, over the dry creek bed and back to the oak tree. Lucy tossed her head. C'mon, let's do that!
In the midst of the donkey antics, I noticed a neighbor walking down the dirt road behind our property with his two dogs. Kersey and Sedona take dogs walking near the property line very seriously. Sedona came at a dead run from the barn, entered at A and loped down centerline -- right past Lucy and I who were trying to do a leg yield to the rail. Meanwhile Kersey, ran up the side of the court under the trees and then both dogs started barking at the neighbor's dogs. It could have been a disaster but it wasn't. Lucy was distracted but kept on working.
After a very excellent session in the dressage court, I walked her around the perimeter to cool down. Then I asked her to cross the dry stream bed and walk under the oaks and pines that form a park-like area between the court and the fenceline and road. She stopped at the embankment in confusion. You want me to go down there? Yes Lucy, go down and over and back up the other side of the creek bed. She lowered her head, took a good look and then a cautious step. I praised her and she kept going. We circled around a big oak and walked, with Lucy's head popping up in alarm every few step, back the towards the oak pasture. She stopped and leaned away from a pile of pine branches, then walked past it suspiciously. Just past the branches, we squeezed through two pine trees and the branches swished and scratched across my helmet. She twitched. Silly Lucy. She needs some more practice with crowding bushes and low hanging branches before she's trail ready. But I do think she will get there one of these days.