As I was longing Tesla earlier this week in tack, one of the stirrups untied and flipped over to the other side during a messy canter transition, so that the metal was clanging on metal. I thought: this is a great opportunity to desensitize, and continued to work her - but, when I asked for trot the stirrups clanged and she thought I was asking for *more* speed! She was running SO FAST like a motorcycle rider who leans into the turns, that I thought she might just tip over. She was genuinely terrified and/or thinking I was asking her to GO! I eventually got her settled, but when I got home that evening, I promptly ordered a little tinkly bell from Riding Warehouse:
and I am going to work on desensitizing her to scary saddle sounds...eventually working up to a cowbell and/or stirrup clanging. MOAR COWBELL. We've also been working on "Whoa" - and in fact when another instructor was giving a lesson tonight and yelled "Whoa" Tesla promptly stopped in her tracks - too smart for her own britches that one, hehe.