This afternoon my neighbour came to collect the sheep so Sam and I had a go at rounding them up! Keep in mind when we bought the sheep down Sam went crazy in the adjacent paddock, bucking, rearing, racing around, snorting.
I rode him out around the sheep and started to push them up towards the gate. The sheep were really very good and moved out the gate and up the lane with little amount of pushing from Sam and I. My neighbour and I followed slowly behind as the sheep were running and we wanted them to slow down. At one point the sheep were out of view so we stepped it up to a trot. Sam was tense but listening and settling into a rhythm. When we were close to where we had to turn them into the gate my neighbour went to canter off to get in front of them - Sam was having none of that. He started to prance and I was very concerned that he would explode so I jumped off and followed on foot.
Once the sheep were in I mounted up and walked Sam in and around the sheep. I also asked him stand while we chatted. This also was difficult for him today, he fiddled with his bit, tried to engage my neighbours horse into a game, moving his feet but in all fairness he hasn't really been worked for close to 3 weeks. We were doing something different and exciting, we were in a new environment, so I didn't punish him just asked him to stand.
He walked home happily and on a loose rein. So I was very proud of him and myself. We both stepped outside of our comfort zones and I think we dealt with it all very well!
Go Sam the working horse!