I decided yesterday that if I carry on waiting for the weather to get better I may lose all of September as well. So not having played with Garbo since May (on any real scale) I re-read David Lichmans notes and took Garbo and my 22ft line to Woodhill Sands.
It's just round the corner from here, it's a naturally sandy surface and usually dry but it had a few puddles today. But no mud! He loaded well, on Pats scale probably a 2/10, i.e. he hesitated briefly and had a smell of the inside. Keep in your mind the wind was about 30 knots.
Maraschino didn't even look up from the paddock - just kept on eating.
In the arenas there were all sorts of interesting things - flower pots, white boards, show jumps, cross country jumps, flags in cones, judge boxes, huge tress blowing in the wind, office, cafe buildings - oh and lots of puddles and horse email - otherwise known to us as horse poop.
I made a conscious decision to not react to anything he spooked at but to really keep his attention and focus on me. It worked really well. After 10 minutes he was completely confident and calm. I worked on Davids suggestion of doing circles but as soon as Garbo looks out (arching his body out) I would disengage him and politely ask him to go again. If he came in I would vigorously send him again.
It certainly got his attention on to me, and we worked a little with smaller circles and getting his nose in towards me, and hind end out.
I did lots of change of direction, then some touch it from the end of the 22 - like the show jumps, the start sign, the cone with the flag.
Then we did some stick to me - just because he likes it - we did it in and out and around the show jumps. They were a bit high to go over (about 5ft high), but great for sideways!
After a very quick hour, we headed back to the float and had a bit of a relax there. Then we loaded up and wet home, loading was about 2/10 again. I was able to ask him on from outside onto the float, but it wasn't immediate or fast.