Sunday, July 19, 2015

An Interesting Ride


The Pond

Waiting patiently for her treats

 
Dusty and I had what I would consider an interesting ride for both of us yesterday.  Let me preface this by saying that Dusty is in heat so she’s a tad sensitive this week. 

The day was very hot and steamy with thunderstorms on the horizon so I decided to have a short ride in the small outside arena by the barn.  After I mounted we walked around for our warm up.  Our property by the arena is close to the neighbor’s back yard separated by a line of trees bordering the fence.  Our neighbor decided to mow his lawn with his ride- on mower.  No problem for Dusty she’s used to motorized vehicles.  However, having the lights on the mower fading in and out of the trees did get her attention.  After a few discussions about going to the end of the arena by the scary lights I decided to take her for a walk around the property.  By this time my daughter had joined us with Grady.

We walked around the pond and moseyed down the alleyway. A few motorcycles passing by on the road didn’t concern Dusty. The herd sees and hears traffic all day long in the pastures.  On the way back it seemed like a nice idea to circle around the outside of the indoor before going in to work.  On the long side of the indoor is a fenced paddock which creates a somewhat narrow passage between the indoor and paddock.  This is where Mellon thought it might be the perfect time to snake his head over the fence with ears pinned back and bite Dusty on the butt.  Dusty being Dusty and not taking any nonsense from anybody threw a small buck and kicked out at him.  Thanks Mellon, I needed that!

On to the indoor and some relaxed work.  We just had gates put on the front and rear entrances so we can leave the doors open for any breezes.  The gates don’t have hardware yet so my daughter closed the rear entrance by propping two metal pipes against them.  I remember saying “ I hope they don’t blow open while we’re passing them.”  And the reply “ The wind is blowing in the other direction, it should be okay.” 

Dusty was on a long looping rein doing her power walk because she refuses to follow any horse and always needs to be in the lead.  After a few circles and figure eights we were making the turn at the rear end of the arena when Grady spooked behind her, which in turn spooked Dusty.  She actually reared a little and did a scrambling “I’m outta here” move. My reins were no help because if I would have pulled back on them I’m sure they would have been up by my ears somewhere.  I managed to hang on with my seat and legs and she calmed down relatively quickly. Apparently, the doors blew open and the metal rods banged together and that’s what spooked Grady.  He’s normally unflappable but in his defense if that had happened to me I probably would have jumped too.

The rest of the ride was uneventful and I dismounted and brought Dusty back to the barn for some well deserved treats.  It just goes to show you that anything can happen while riding even the calmest horse that rarely spooks at anything. To say I was a little surprised that she had it in her would be an understatement. 

Until next time

Quote for Today
How to ride a horse:
Step One - Mount the horse.
Step Two - Stay mounted...




23 comments:

  1. Good advice - any horse can spook, even at the unlikeliest of times. Good reminders.

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    1. Thanks Kate. Sometimes it's a good reminder not to get too complacent with a certain horse no be ready for anything.

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  2. So nice that you & your daughter ride together - and on your own place! Glad the spooks were only reminders that even familiar areas can become scary. Beautiful pond & photo, such a pretty view!! Do you ever ride to/let the horses drink from it? Sweet treat face :)

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    1. Hi aurora,

      We don't let them drink from the pond because it's fenced off and to hard to remove boards to get in there. We had to fence it after a few of them decided to run across the ice one winter and the entire pond wasn't completely frozen. It could gave been a disaster. Also there is a giant snapping turtle that lives there who is fond of taking out the geese so I wouldn't want a nose bitten.

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    2. Yikes! One can always enjoy all the good stuff ponds offer from a safe distance. Our pond is much smaller, the largest animal that uses it is my labrador grand dog!

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    3. The pond is very deep too. My daughter and friend took a canoe on it and fished one time. There's some huge fish in there. We also get the occasional muskrat and an otter from the river behind our property. He must swim up the stream that goes to the pond. We have lots of wildlife visiting too, foxes, coyotes and I've heard but not seen about the bears.

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  3. I'm so glad your interesting ride was met with a good seat! And happy to hear that you're riding and enjoying the season. We're into heat wave mode again so all that's happening here is sweating (me) and getting hosed (them). Looking forward to the end of the summer heat for sure.

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    1. Hi Billie,
      Saturday was hot but not too bad for a ride. However, it's so hot here and humid now nobody wants to ride or be ridden. It's showers all around for everyone...including the humans!

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  4. Yeesh! I'm glad you stayed mounted during the spook. Timely reminder that even when you think you've got all bases covered, there's always something ...

    Beautiful picture of the pond. Sounds lovely, riding on your property like that :) And that picture of Dusty - gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks Joy, I'm glad I stayed on too! Guess it paid off riding the spookiest horse in the world for fifteen years. My horse Erik was always a question mark to deal with.

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  5. I'm glad you nailed the "stay mounted" part of the equation! You are so right. The calmest, sweetest horse can totally lose it...just like the calmest, sweetest person. Glad it all worked out well, what a ride!

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    1. Hi Jane,
      It was a little different than I'm used to with her but we managed ;)

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  6. Atta girl! Rides like that (that end well) are always confidence boosters...you still got it!! Since Eagle can be such a reactive guy, I've gotten lots of practice and honing of my "one-rein stop". I've got to say that it's a remarkably useful "re-set" button for horses. Had my first solo ride on him outside the arena last week! Felt great, but the following ride outside wasn't quite so grand. I'm finding out that my boy has a bit wider stubborn streak than I'd originally thought. He planted his feet and said, "I don't want to go up that hill"; and by golly there wasn't a thing I could do to make him move. Grrrr...I figured that I wasn't quite ready to get into a fight with him. But, we're riding again tonight. Hopefully it goes well because this Wednesday he comes home. :)

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    1. I hope you and Eagle have a great ride tonight!

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  7. You were being tested....ha ha. At least you were riding and ended up on a good note.

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    1. It wasn't so bad. I consider any time in the saddle a good day. Of course, staying in the saddle is always a plus!

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  8. Proof positive that no horse is bombproof. Even the best of them are still horses and that flight response is instinctive. Glad to hear your seat and experience kept you safely in the saddle and Dusty, being the sweet girl she is, calmed down quickly.

    Also happy to hear you managed to get a ride in despite the weather.

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    1. It's been really hot here so Saturday was the last ride. Starting to cool off a bit now. Hopefully, by this weekend the weather will cooperate for a ride.

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  9. I'm glad you were able to ride out the spook without your reins. The photographs are beautiful.

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  10. They certainly don't send announcements before they spook! You were ready though, as we all have to be all the time!

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    1. I guess that's what makes riding so interesting. You never know what might happen!

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    2. I was trying to explain riding to a non-riding friend, and what I said was, I cannot think of another sport which is so interactive. Team sports, other people, ok, but most physical activity is you or you plus some equipment (pole for vaulting, bicycle, ice skates, whatever). Here you must interact intimately with another intelligent (but non-human) being who has her own opinions and her own reactions.

      I started riding late in life and I'm constantly surprised and delighted by the way we must work with the horses.

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