I pulled up into the yard and not 5 seconds later, the BO pulls up in her truck. I let her know I'm heading out for a ride through the fields and invite her to come, she's pumped and says yes so heads to the house to get ready. I pull Koda out of the field after he gives me a bit of sass. Usually when I go to catch him he'll either walk all the way up to me or at least meet me half-way. Not so today. Luckily he wasn't too far off, so I go to catch him but he decides to swing his haunches my way. Oh no, mister Koda, I do NOT let that fly so I push him off and away from the round bale. He trots off, rather reluctantly, then stops, turns and comes back and puts his head down into the halter.
I start tacking up and the BO comes out to catch her horse to tack up. I then notice that she has not one, not two, but three halters... Ok, not what I was expecting, but I assumed she was catching the others to check them for something. As we tack up, I notice that the BO is tacking her one horse with her pack rigging! So our quiet ride of two turned into an experimental ride of one lone rider and one rider plus two pack horses. We started off heading into the field across the rode and went straight into some trot work. I immediately knew this wasn't going to go well since Koda just felt like he was on springs waiting to go up or out or somewhere other than where I wanted him. I would have just let him out on a tear, but the BO's saddle horse would get very upset if Koda went too far ahead. Since the trotting really didn't go so well, we decided on just going on a nice walking hack around the field. Easy enough, except when you have a horse that decides he absolutely NEEDS to be in front yet doesn't walk as fast as the other horses... oh Koda... I was insisting on him walking, so he decided to go up. Nothing major, but more than he has before with me (Jess/Jon, think of what he did at the trailer, but me on him). We did a quick one rein stop/march in a tiny circle to get rid of that attitude and started again.
After that, Koda seemed to slowly settle into the ride and we finished the hack. Since there was still some daylight left, the BO and I played around in the yard doing some circles, transitions, and serpentines. I got some more nice trot out of Koda, but I want to get some good eyes on the ground to make sure what I'm feeling is actually what is going on. What I want is for him to really push from behind and be tracking up, but at this point I don't think he has the strength to hold that for very long. Homework for the winter - balance, straightness, and proper transitions. I got two semi-decent canter transitions out of him, an improvement on what we've got in earlier rides this month so I ended it fairly happy :)
I'm not sure what really triggered Koda's attitude, since it felt similar to when he gave me some fireworks when we went out with the BO and his herdmate Cain. Perhaps when we're out with them, we either need to keep pace or be infront to avoid this type of attitude, but it is something that needs to be dealt with. I may do some round-pen work this winter as well since the BO has taken out all of the saplings and old stumps from the pen so that it is now useable! I know round-penning doesn't help all things, but I do want to work with Koda on that level along with in the saddle.
Either way, plenty more riding in my future and we still have no snow! I saw a few flakes the other day while I was out, but nothing substantial here yet!!!! I'm hoping we still have a few more days (maybe a week or two?) left of no snow, but it's inevitable that it's coming. But for now, I'll enjoy these lovely fall days for as long as we have them.
Sunset shot taken on the way home