I went up to him and petted him for a bit while he laid there, then some of the other horses came over and started to pester him, so he got up. We went inside and spent a LONG time grooming. Louie is in full shedding mode now! I think I got about 15 curry comb waffles (you know, when the hair gets wadded up on the curry comb, then you peel it off like a waffle?) off of him! He sure enjoyed it- it must feel good to get all that itchy extra fur off and get a massage while you're at it. Then I saddled him up in my hunt saddle (wanted to try something a little different- more secure and makes me relax and ride a little different) and headed to the arena. We rode at the walk and trot, doing lots of figure 8's and direction and gait changes to warm up- basics, but can always use work. Then we opened the arena gait and walked out- all while mounted- yay! our leg yields are working- and we headed out into the world. . .
We walked up and down the row of pine trees on the side of the farm by the scary neighbor boys', behind the neighbor's pasture, around the outside of our arena, then into the woods behind the barn, where the barn owner's hubby stores all of his toys. Louie had never really been to any of those places, but he did great- ears up, very interested and a little nervous, but he flat walked and didn't do anything stupid. We headed down the driveway and onto the road. We just went about 100 feet down the road and I heard a car coming in the distance, so took the convenient opportunity to get off the road and ride through the woods/swamp on the opposite side. Louie got a little nervous about the car and trotted 1-2 steps, but settled right back down and kept walking. We just walked through the woods until we got back to the barn driveway and headed back home.
We didn't go very far, but this was Louie's first "trail ride" and he did great! It was a relaxing and beautiful night, and both Louie and I had a lot of fun. :)