|On the longe line (Outside)|
My daughter’s horse Nate has always had a problem with working in the indoor arena. There seems to be something that he just doesn’t feel comfortable with and he will let you know by rearing, spooking, or discovering some escapade to get you off and get himself out of there. Longeing him is also tricky, as he likes to become airborne and can become an out of control freight train. So she decided not to ride him in there anymore until he was calmer about the arena.
The doors and windows are still all open because the weather has been unseasonably warm. The double doors at the end have had gates installed instead of the longe line we had strung across them. No one has ever tried to get out of the indoor through the longe line except Nate. One time while turned out inside he thought it would be a good idea to gallop the length of the arena and jump out over the line. Beautiful form, too, I might add as I was standing outside the door watching him bear down on me. I dove to the right just in time or I’m sure he would have jumped over me, too. The gates were added basically for Nate and to keep Gunnar the dog from coming in and trying to play with the horses’ tails while we were riding.
Recently, my daughter took Nate down there and started working with him on the longe. After walking him around and letting him investigate anything that caught his fancy, she decided to let him loose to walk around quietly on his own to get used to the indoor on his own. Everything was secured shut. I’m sure you’ve guessed already that Nate jumped out again. No, not over the gates at the ends. We have what we call a "man-door"--about the size of a standard stall door--that we use to come in and out of the arena and there is a wooden half-door about 4' high that goes across the bottom of it. He jumped out over THAT. Because he's an equine genius (just saying.) He galloped straight for the big open end doors, which are also 4', made a sharp left turn in front of those, and he just barely squeezed himself through the tiny opening at the top of the man-door like a circus horse through a hoop. No easy feat for a 17.3 hand Dutch Warmblood who is very well built, wide and muscular. And did I mention smart? His withers just about scraped the top of the doorframe. But his form was damn near perfect. There’s a small hill right outside the door, which he landed gracefully on, cantered up, and began to graze.
The moral of today’s story is: Always expect the unexpected when dealing with horses (especially Nate)! Nate is our very "special" horse in the barn. I’m sure you all know a Nate. If there’s trouble to be had, he’s the first one to find it.
Quote for Today
A horse is poetry in motion.