I had a lesson on Saturday and I was looking forward to putting to practice the homework I've been doing, especially with having a larger arena to ride in where there's more variety in little courses I could do. Pony had zero issues in trailer loading, so I'm pretty sure the problem last weekend was of my doing.
Anyway, we had a little warm up on our own and then Trainer came in to start the lesson and warm up. She gave me some pointers on my own body positioning to help me be straighter in the saddle and more secure in my position. After our flat work part of the lesson, we did a course of trot poles, then cantered, then it was time to start some jumps.
And then the unfortunate timing of All The Things Happening began. The time had come for the fencing work to be done. A dirt bike zoomed by, followed by an ATV, followed by a tractor; somewhere in the mix were a bunch of dogs running around and probably a truck, too. The fence work to be done was to dismantle a straight line of pipe corrals. Bang, bang, bang, bang, clang, bang! That was the sound of (I'm guessing) getting the pins out of the connectors and then disconnecting them from each other. Band, clang, bang, bang, clang! That was the sound of lifting them up and loading them onto the front loader of the tractor. Chuga-chuga-chuga-chuga was the sound of the tractor being backed up and moved to the next section, combined with the zing, cling, jangle, jangle of the fence panels as they banged against each other on the tractor as it was being driven around. Oh, and this was maybe 10' or so on the other side of the arena during my lesson. Oh, and somewhere in all that, a chihuahua made its way into the arena and decided to have a lie-down.
Needless to say, we both had a bit of a hard time concentrating.
BUT! Pony is a rock star in every way imaginable. What would have probably sent my 20-year-old TB over the edge was merely a distraction for Pony. Yes, she was a bit amped and distracted by it all, but she didn't use the commotion as an excuse to lose her marbles or do anything naughty. We were able to continue with our lesson and school a few things (pace, straightness, position) and make improvements on each question that was asked of Pony.
At the end, the ATV and dirt bike were zooming around a pasture behind the arena (complete with the dirt bike jumping dirt mounds or whatever they jump), the dogs were playing, and Pony and I stood in the middle of the arena with my reins draped over her neck while she stood looking at it all.
I was eager to get out of there so we just loaded up and came home and went back to a relaxing day of grazing. While it wasn't enjoyable from a lesson standpoint, it was a good schooling experience and a confidence-builder for both of us to know we can count on each other even when there's annoying stuff going on!