Most of the time, I'm Theo's support system. He sees something scary, I pet him on the neck and tell him he's going to be okay, he takes a big, snorty breath and we're okay. He's pretty willing to take my word for it when I say that the big scary thing isn't actually going to eat him.
It's not very common when we trade places.
The indoor ring was crowded with lessons so I went out to the outdoor ring by myself. All of the horses were rather on edge with a twenty degree temperature drop, high winds, and a storm system coming in. Theo was, as usual, minimally affected. He wasn't particularly agitated on the cross ties and walked around the ring with the correct level of buzz to him. A little edge with him is a nice thing most of the time. He felt like he had just enough extra energy to make him even more fun.
I turned down centerline and asked him to step over. At this point I heard some ruckus and looked up to see a couple of horses losing their minds in turn out. As I've mentioned, I have a phobia about horses flipping out in turn out while I'm riding. I had a very bad fall as a teen due to a horse in turn out flipping out and my horse throwing me hard. I saw the horse bolt, Theo's head popped up, and I bailed mid half passe. I barely registered what was going on before I was standing next to Theo as opposed to sitting on him.
Theo turned his head to look at me in a befuddled way. What the heck was I doing? As I stood there waiting for him to follow the lead of the five horses in various fields acting up, Theo stared at me. He didn't care in the slightest. Huh.
I sheepishly got back on. We went back to work and Theo snorted a bit because I was acting weird but he never actually did anything about it. We even did our canter work while the outside horses were jumping about. When they got really bad (rearing and galloping about chasing each other), we stopped to watch. Theo never did anything about it. He sat there and watched while I played with his mane and reminded myself to breathe.
It was kind of cool, in a stressful way, to actually stay on my horse while other horses were flipping out. I haven't done that in years. Maybe mi papi can help me get rid of my ridiculous habit of jumping off of my horse without warning. Maybe. It would be nice.