Friday, February 15, 2013

I Made It Happen

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.

Turning back toward home, Bombay started his jig and trot, so the trainer did some circling while I stopped and waited.  She put him in front of Lostine and he settled down, so he seems to have a need to lead.  But the trainer used that as a training opportunity and made him follow at a walk.  She quickly realized that she could be circling him all day and it wouldn't have much of an effect, so she tried see-sawing the reins to slow him down and releasing the pressure as soon as he walked.  That did the trick.

I led us away from home and he settled down, giving the trainer a break so we could chat some more and enjoy the ride.  She said I almost didn't even have to pay her for her time, because she had so much fun.  I love being her last appointment of the day because she sticks around for an extra hour and helps me with whatever comes up.

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.

Gabbrielle had worked up the biggest sweat of all the horses being back at the barn whinnying and running circles in her stall.  She rolled in the sand too, but I didn't get my camera out in time.

Bombay was mighty thirsty.  He couldn't wait until I had finished filling the water trough to get a drink.

I'd call it a successful day.  Checking one more item off my bucket list.  The real excitement will be when we get Bombay and Gabbrielle out on the trails together.


~Allison said...

Sounds like they are doing good! Did you ever find out why the police where out there?

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Allison - I didn't. I've been checking the news, but they didn't report on it.

GunDiva said...

Glad you got to go out on the trails. :)

Sam said...

You live pretty close to my horses (from the background of your photos) - who do you use as a trainer? I've got a horse that I'd like some additional help with? Do you know if she is taking new customers?


achieve1dream said...

If you live close to Christine you should totally make friends with her, because she has Friesians LOL!! :D I can't help it, I'm obsessed with Friesians.

The trail ride sounds AWESOME!!!! So now, since your trainer had so much fun, she needs to be your riding buddy lol. I'm so happy you finally got to ride. So exciting!

fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like a good outing, as for the pickup, never a bad idea if something makes you look twice, look twice and having the info cant hurt