People really think it's cool when I get Royal to go sideways over barrels. Bareback and bridleless, they shrug. But sideways over the barrels, that never fails. Of course, it helps that Royal has this totally smug look on his face like "look what I can do. I showed those barrels who's boss here." He can be such a ham.
In other Royal news, both of us got very wet today. Him because he was out in the fog/rain and me because I fell in a puddle. I'm ever-so-graceful when I want to be, but only my jeans got wet. We went for yet another walk on the dirt road, since I don't want to deal with the arena. With all the warm weather this week, the snow and ice have been sliding off the roof and that freaks Royal out. Now, if I were to be righteous about it, I would insist that he get used to it. But I've tried for five years and it never gets any better, mostly because it only happens once a year. The snow falls off with great crashes that shake the whole building and it happens at completely random intervals. Royal remembers this and once he hears the telltale "THUD," game over. And it can take a long time for him to feel comfortable in the arena again.
So, we take advantage of the nice weather and go for walks. Today I took advantage of all the puddles and gave Royal great opportunity to get his hooves wet. I helped him be confident walking through, then tried trotting. That confused him a little bit, but eventually he would trot straight through. I was very happy with that, and left it there.