Marley and I will be on our way to Abbe Ranch tomorrow evening and I'm really excited! I hope one night is enough for Marley to settle in and feel comfortable in his new surroundings before riding on Saturday. I'm really interested to see how he takes it all in. I've also decided that I'm going to have zero expectations for what we will and will not be able to do this weekend. Once we get there, and we see how everything goes, I'll decide how much or little to do. Even if we end up standing around and trail riding with the other horses, the journey will be worth it. I'm also very excited for the lessons, I want to take as much from this experience as possible.
On a wilder note, Marley has some serious hops (he can jump). I have been turning him out in the large arena with other horses for play time, which he isn't very good at because he just stares at me to come and get him. Well there were two horses in with him today and they were playing and running around and basically ignoring Marley. At one point, Marley tried to walk up and join, but they turned around and ran off. Marley, however, did not go after them. Instead, he turned around and jumped the arena fence (4+ feet high) and trotted back to his stall. When the look of shock finally left me and I was able to locate his lead rope, I headed towards his stall and found him eating dinner. Perhaps the funniest part of all of this was when I walked up and said "Marley" in a rather stern voice, he turned around and looked at me with a mouthful of hay and then walked right up, almost seeming pleased with himself. I have no idea what was running through his mind, but apparently, that fence was in his way.
After we scared the rest of the boarders half to death with Marley's escape act, we got to work and had a great ride. A new horse that Marley hadn't met came into the arena while we were riding and was doing very sudden reining maneuvers and sliding stops. It really made him nervous, so I brought him into the center of the arena and let him get used the horse moving all around us. Eventually, the man riding the horse walked up and Marley completely relaxed after standing side by side for a few minutes. It was really good for him and it ended on a very positive note with Marley actually wanting to follow the horse as he walked off. Marley's insecurities with other horses is a major issue that I would like to tackle this weekend, so I'll keep the blog updated with our progress at Abbe Ranch.