I hopped on Joy to play with a few of the exercises I had found. She was extremely distracted from the get go, looking for things to spook at, tense, tight, and amped up.
I went through the normal warm-up routine and was getting frustrated that I couldn’t get her attention on me.
As we’re trotting across a short diagonal, I look up and see a doe staring us down from less than 20 meters away.
She was standing in the clearing between the arena and the woods, next to the small drive we use to access the back yard. Just standing there… watching us… seemingly at ease with the situation, with no intention of moving.
I tried to ignore her. I tried to get Joy to focus on me again.
Let me tell ya, it’s not easy to ignore a strange animal staring at you. It leaves you a little unsettled.
And Joy wasn’t having any better luck ignoring the doe than I was.
I stopped Joy at the edge of the arena closest to the deer.
Me to the deer: *sigh* “Do you want to learn dressage too?”
Doe: No answer
Me: “I’m looking for a new eventing partner. Do you like to jump?”
Doe: sidles closer to the woods.
Me: “Come on, I bet you’d be a fantastic eventing mount. We could go far!”
Doe: slinks into the woods and hides behind a tree.
Apparently she isn’t keen on eventing.
I really thought that was the end of it. And then I realize the doe is watching us from the treeline. She hung out there the rest of my ride.
I swear to you, it really seemed as if that doe was enjoying watching us.
I’m expecting to go one day and find that doe in my arena practicing dressage moves.