Monday, April 19, 2010

Lostine Rules the Ranch

Despite all her efforts to avoid being ridden, I caught and saddled Lostine this weekend for a workout. She was pretty hyper, because she was still worried that I was going to load her into the trailer. In fact, as soon as I untied her and started to lead her through the gate into the paddock, she went in the opposite direction and headed for the back of the trailer. Once I've caught her, she's really good about getting into the trailer, but I know she hates leaving the property.

Anyway, I didn't want to bore her with the round pen, so I rode her around the paddock. We trotted all over the place without any spooks, because she is now officially used to the latest pile of garbage that my neighbors have shoved up against my fence. It's so nice to be able to ride my horses anywhere on my property without being teleported sideways.

I had left the gate to the round pen open, and Gabbrielle was trying to take my step stool apart with her teeth. So, I rode Lostine into the round pen and said, "Everybody out! Everybody out!" while herding both Gabbrielle and Bombay out of there. Then Lostine helped me close and lock the gate so that they couldn't get back in. I love herding the other horses around when I ride Lostine. She definitely rules the ranch.

Lostine was showing signs of tiring. All the horses are out of shape and need gradual conditioning before I ride them too hard. I was also feeling tired after my hike and riding Gabbrielle, so I stopped to rest and to let Lostine rest.

That's when the cutest thing in the world happened.

Gabbrielle walked up to us and laid her head in my lap while I was sitting in the saddle on Lostine. I stroked her face, forelock and mane. She let me play with her ears, even though she's been sensitive about having people touch her ears after having the tip of one cut off. I rubbed her all over her neck and back with my riding crop, and Lostine stood patiently while Gabbrielle inspected the tack with her muzzle.

Then my neighbors had to ruin the precious moment by driving up the street and onto their lot. I tried my best to completely tune them out and pretend like they weren't there, and I continued on with our love fest. I heard the engine turn off, but not the noise of a car door opening or closing, so I knew they were just sitting in their car having one of their stare-a-thons.

About five minutes later I heard a door open and close and saw the woman heading for her front door. I thought they were leaving, but then several minutes after that I realized that I never heard the front door close, so I looked up and saw the woman standing on her front porch staring at me and the man sitting in the driver's seat of the car with his legs hanging out the open door staring at me. I didn't feel like putting on a show for them, so I rode Lostine behind the barn where they couldn't see me, and the other two horses followed. Only then did I hear all the doors close.

We all just kind of hung out back there for a while as I enjoyed the view of the mountains and watched the cars drive by. I half expected the woman to walk her dog behind my barn to see what I was doing back there. She didn't show up then, but she did come out to do that when I pulled my wheelbarrow out to clean stalls. As soon as she walked behind the barn, I pulled my wheelbarrow around behind it to clean up some manure instead of going into the stalls where she can spy on me through the slats of wood. She quickly pulled her dog along and moved further down the road, pretending like she was taking a walk. At least I know it's easy to flush her out of her hiding spot now. She's figured out where to stand to be just out of range of my camera. I may have to get a second one to get fuller coverage.

I fed all the horses some bran mash. Lostine is such a slob. She gets it all over her muzzle, drips it all over the ground, and gets it all over her body when she bites her itches while eating.


Dreaming said...

How neat to have such a sweet bonding moment with Gabbrielle.
Your neighbors creep me out!

fernvalley01 said...

I know your neighbors are weird,but I have to admit,if I had come along right when Gabrielle had her head on your lap soaking up the love , I would have stood there watching too! Such a beautiful moment , wish someone could have snapped a picture. That said I get why you are bugged . Lostine sounds so much like the old boss mare when I was growing up(hard to catch at times ,but overall a great horse, and absolutely ruled the roost!) looks a bit like her too!

Leah Fry said...

That is the sweetest thing I've ever heard. What a precious moment and too bad CERTAIN PEOPLE had to wreck it for you.

They'll really have to get creative if you cover all angles with a camera.

Sydney said...

Aww sweet little mare.

Have you ever tried ponying Gabrielle off of Lostine? That might be a fun thing to do.

Katharine Swan said...

What a sweet moment! That makes me feel all peaceful inside. :o) I have to agree with fernvalley -- I would have watched too, but only because I think it's about the sweetest thing ever!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awww....that's such a special moment between you and Gabbrielle and even Lostine, for being so patient with everyone during the love fest :)

Too bad your kooky neighbors had to ruin the moment. At least they could have taken a photo of you and your beautiful horses for you to have.

I did some trailer work with Apache today, just to make sure she was still on the same page as our last loading experience. And she was :) And afterwards I sat down under a tree while she ate her hay beside me. Every so often she would step closer to me and stretch her face to me, and let me stroke her face, ears, neck, cheeks and forehead. Her eyes would close and I was almost afraid to breathe.
She seemed more peaceful and relaxed the closer she stood by me. We had one of those special moments, too :)

Funny seeing the lovely Lostine with a messy muzzle. Looks like she could use a napkin. lol!


Fantastyk Voyager said...

What a lovey horse Gabbrielle is!

Yes, ponying sounds like a good option since Lostine doesn't seem to mind Gabbrielle being all over her. It'll get two horses exercised at once and I've found that "riding a pair" seems to be a perfect way of settling a nervous horse down and/or giving a young horse those needed miles.

I really enjoy riding out with both Scout and Nadia because they get along so well and it's so easy to do! Nadia never pulls on the lead but travels right along with Scout, sometimes equal to his head or sometimes back by my leg. I can reach over and pet her whenever I want. I can tell they enjoy each other's company a lot. FYI, I like to ride the more 'nervous' one and have the 'steady eddy' along for fun and companionship. We walk, trot, and canter too. When I ride through the trees, we go single file with Nadia behind us.