Hallelujia! We drove for the first time in months! A week or two ago when Sandy was there, we put him between the shafts, but didn't hook him. Even with all the scary stuff happening that day he kindof settled down in the cart.
Well today I noticed that the scary end of the arena had less stuff in it, and there was a direct correlation to Louie's spookiness- it was much decreased. Granted I had to move one of the carts around a little bit to get to mine, so that gave Louie something more to look at once again.
So after a lengthy warm-up in the long lines, since Louie was so nicely behaved and didn't appear to be jumping out of his skin too much, I pulled the cart up and hooked him up. We long lined with the cart hooked for a few laps just to see how things would go, but they went fine so I hopped in. It was like we never stopped driving. Yay! We picked up just where we left off, still dealing with some whip anticipation and wanting to bend his neck to the middle even if we're going down a straight away, but it was reassuring to not run into any trouble. We kept the drive short so as not to push our luck, but probably went about 5 laps in each direction at a walk and a trot.
I was very happy with my Louie boy, and he looked so happy driving along, I just know he missed it, as he just feels so relaxed and comfortable in front of the cart. I'm looking forward to spring time when we can get outside to drive in the big outdoor arena before the bugs come to life. :)