Saturday, April 3, 2010

Managing the Herd

We had another cold, windy day, but no snow, so I took Lostine for a spin. She was all revved up in the beginning of our ride. I must have said "EASY!" 50 times. The ground is still too slippery for galloping. She firmly told me she was sick of the round pen by planting her feet at the gate and side-passing into it.

Alrighty. Whatever you say, Lostine. You're the boss.

No, wait, I'm supposed to be the boss.

However, I did think going for a ride around the paddock was in order, so I leaned over and opened the gate for us to pass through. Gabbrielle got a little too excited and galloped up from behind us, so I kicked her butt into the round pen since she was trying to start a stampede. Bombay followed and I shut the gate behind them from Lostine's back.

However, before we could go for our ride, Bombay grabbed my really nice lead rope in his mouth and taunted me with it. I hollered at him to drop it, and he took off with it. I waved my riding crop in the air at him and used my angry voice, and he dropped the rope.

Then Bombay started getting ready to roll too close to the railings. Gabbrielle once got her legs stuck when she rolled into the railing, so I hollered at him to get up. He stopped and looked at me, and then just went back to spinning around and making false starts at kneeling. I hollered again, but it was clear he was going to ignore me this time, so I leaped off Lostine's back and ran full sprint at Bombay as he was kneeling. He jumped up and scurried off.

Gabbrielle was standing at attention as if waiting for her round pen lesson. I knew as soon as I mounted Lostine, Bombay would just go back to the same spot to roll. So, I herded him to the center of the round pen and encouraged him to roll there, but no, he had to have the spot up against the railing.

I looked over at Lostine and she was still standing in the spot where I left her. "Hmmmmm, one of her previous owners must have taught her to ground tie," I thought. I went back to herding Bombay to the center of the round pen for his roll while Gabbrielle looked on. I saw Lostine start to move, so I yelled, "Lostine! Stay!"

Despite "stay" being a new command for her, she knew what I meant and returned to the spot where I left her. I continued in my power struggle with Bombay over the location where I wanted him to take his dirt bath. Lostine then started heading off again and I yelled, "Stay!"

This time she was looking at me as if saying, "I know what you are asking, Mom, but I've got something really important to do."

I took her word for it and watched her as she walked over to the ladies room, did her business, and then walked back to the spot where I left her. Wow! That horse is smart.

I gave up on getting Bombay to roll in the center of the round pen and kicked both him and Gabbrielle out, so that I wouldn't have to worry about their legs getting stuck in railing. For some reason, they never roll near the outside of the round pen railings -- just the inside.

I mounted Lostine again and rode her around the paddock in the wind. Gabbrielle started playing with the folding metal step stool while Bombay drew in the sand with a stick. I rode Lostine over to him to see what he was drawing. Perhaps my boy has learned to write his own name. Who knows? These horses are pretty smart.

However, when we approached him, he dropped the stick and walked off. Oh well. We returned to our ride. When I looked back, Bombay had picked up the stick and was drawing in the same spot again. We walked up to him, and again he dropped the stick and walked away.

Then I realized that I was riding the alpha mare, and she has trained Bombay to move away from her. At that point, I decided to try my hand at herding a horse from another horse's back. Lostine and I pushed him here and pushed him there. He kept looking at us as if saying, "What? Where do you want me to go? I'm moving away and you just keep pushing me away further."

It was rather fun, and I think Lostine found it humorous too, but then Gabbrielle thought the name of the game was to pick on Bombay, so she galloped up to him and bit him. I scolded her, and then Lostine and I started pushing her around until she was humbled. Then I put them all to work weeding the RV lane.


Breathe said...

Oh my you had me laughing on this one! Lostine left to go to the LADIES ROOM? ROFL!!!

What a cool description of your ride around the paddock, I really felt like I was watching (not like your neighbors, but like a friend, on the railing).


lytha said...

*LOL!!*i love the interaction between your three. and when gabbrielle joined in, i laughed out loud. you are so blessed to have those characters!


JeniQ said...

Sounds like a good day and ride!

Happy Easter to you and your family

fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like a fun ride!A class act that Lostine, not going to mess where she has to stand!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

lol! Sounds like a 3-ring circus! And even more fun, especially for you.

I'm glad you got some riding and play time in before the big snow hit. :)