Lena doesn't have a lot of trail experience, yet, and so - in the spirit of helping her grow and breaking up her routine just a little - we walked down the road a ways to a nearby orchard. In order to get into the orchard, however, you must cross "The Puddle In The Ditch." I, being the leader in our little parade and on foot, sloshed through TPITD, primarily for Lena's benefit, though also to test whether the new cracks in my old boots are admitting water, yet.
Steve and Lena started to follow but then came the distinct sound of metal horse shoes clattering to a stop on asphalt - the horse version of slamming on the brakes. She has gone through the ditch before, even with a little water in it, so he very patiently walked her around in a circle and tried again. No go, so serious negotiations began. Steve worked through the sideways dance, the circular spin, some walking up and down the side of the road, not to mention the added bonus of waving cars past us in the middle of all that.
She did finally concede and make her way through TPITD, receiving much patting and praise for her bravery, only to sink nearly knee deep in the spongy, squishy orchard ground. But with much snorting and squelching - and use of her big, strong, healthy muscles to pull her feet out of the muck - we made it to firmer ground. More patting and praise occured, of course.
Not too bad for a horse stuck with two humans as trail ride partners.