Orion showed his spooky side today.
He was perfect the whole friggin' pre-ride dance of grooming, lungeing, tacking up, and - oh wait. Heading out can't be put on that list because he was scared of a bush. Really, Orion? Really?
So we're walking through Linda's back yard, heading out to the road. Linda's back yard is full of pretty flowers and shrubbery and a garden. There's a coy pond containing coy and goldfish, complete with mini-waterfall. There's also a gardening bench (I don't know what else to call it) that she uses regularly. Birds fly everywhere. There are paving stones to walk over. Little mini fences around the flowers. A giant wire archway over one of the human paths.
And what does my usually nearly bomb-proof horse choose to be scared of?
A completely stationary, unchanged-from-the-last-time-he-saw-it, totally ordinary bush.
He was giving it the hairy eyeball as we approached, which I didn't understand, but spoke soothingly to him of anyway. He stopped and contemplated it with his head cocked to one side. Ok. Good. Usually he works through it in his head, sighs as though he feels dumb for being weirded out, and walks on.
Not today. He stares. And stares. And stares. Finally I decide he's had long enough to think about it and urge him on. He takes one step....and boom.
We're airborn for a second and land a foot or so to the right of where he'd been standing. He then proceeds to do what I'm sure to observers would look like a really pretty half-pirouette and almost crashes into Kit. Thankfully I was concentrating on my form and at the same time on keeping him from bolting. I didn't really think he'd bolt, but then again, I hadn't thought he'd have a panic attack over a bush either, so....
After trying to make him pass it again and again seeing him give it the hairy eyeball, Linda approached and offered to lead him past it. Figuring this would be the quickest way to get on with the ride, I allowed it and decided to work on the sorting out his fear when we got back. On the way back from the ride...no fear. -_-
The next ride I took him on was a different story.