This morning my husband and I headed out to search for a drag harrow to flatten the rest of the sand in the arena. When we turned the corner we saw three police cars and a ranger's truck at the entrance to the desert where I hike and ride. There were other patrol cars parked in front of nearby gates. When we returned home, they were still there, except the ranger's truck was parked next to the arroyo as if he was waiting for something or someone to come up it. There were also police cars cruising the neighborhood on every street.
When we got home I decided to run up to the closest patrol car and ask what was going on. I needed to know, because I was planning on going trail riding out there today. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, all the officers and rangers had left. Whatever was going on must have been resolved. I worried that someone might have spotted a mountain lion or been bit by a rabid coyote. Or maybe there was some criminal on the run. At any rate, I didn't want to run into whatever they were looking for.
On my way back home, a sketchy looking crew in a pick up truck stopped me to ask for directions. I was as polite as possible, but they scared me, and when they drove off it sounded like someone was in the bed of their pick up truck kicking the cover. It sounded like when a horse kicks inside of a trailer. I told my husband about it, and he said something could be rolling around in there and it would sound like kicking if the bed is corrugated. I chalked it up to my overactive imagination, but if I hear about any kidnappings on the news, I've got the license plate number and the address of where they were headed.
I had both Lostine and Bombay saddled up by the time my horse trainer arrived, and I asked her if she wanted to go for a ride. I explained that Lostine just doesn't do well in arenas and I'd rather give her a chance on the trails than to keep fighting her at home. The trainer was perfectly fine with that. She said she was doing all the arena work more for me, because she wanted all those one-rein stops to become an automatic reaction for me. I assured her that Lostine has given me plenty of practice with one-rein stops in the arena over the past few days.
The trainer said she would ride the more difficult horse and pointed at Lostine. I said, "No, actually I think Bombay is the more difficult horse on the trails because he wants to run home."
So, I rode Lostine and she rode Bombay out in the desert. They were both great on the way out. My trainer and I were both able to relax and chat about our lives.
As we were approaching my street, the horses went on alert because they could hear children's voices. I told my trainer that one of my neighbors opened a day care center out of her home, and the kids often play in front of my and my other neighbors' house in the street this time of the afternoon. Anytime I point out something that scares the horses or the horses point out something that scares them, she makes us head over there, so we rode in the direction of the daycare and had the horses watch the kids play. Then she rode Bombay past a broken drip line that sounded like a rattlesnake. She said I made a good call in saying that Bombay would be the more difficult horse.
When we got back, she wanted to make the horses do some work, but Lostine locked up by the gate to the barn and refused to move out. I circled her every which way and eventually she just refused to budge. I whipped her with the reins and she gave a little hop, but still wouldn't walk. I kicked as hard as I could and she just pinned her ears back at me. The trainer had me ride her toward the trails, because for some reason she was willing to go in that direction, and then turn her around and walk her past the barn. She ran interference with Bombay, trying to block Lostine from diving into the barn. She told me to hang onto the horn, because she was going to be whipping Lostine's butt. Nothing got her past the barn, so the trainer had us trade horses and she worked Lostine's butt off until she followed directions. That's so typical of Lostine to be a perfect lady on the trails and turn into a sourpuss back at the barn.
Once I released the horses they rolled in the sand, kicking their legs up with joy.