Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gone Exploring

I talked my husband into helping me lead a couple of horses across a main road into new territory to see how they would react.  I chose Bombay because he is the spookiest and Gabbrielle because she is the least experienced in leaving home.  While we were approaching the gate, I saw a man out for a joy ride on his motorcycle.  He went past us twice, and was gone by the time we got through the gate.  No cars were coming, so I opted to just keep walking with a purpose to not give the horses any chance to hesitate over the sudden change in the ground beneath their feet, kind of like when people tell you to just lead the horse into the trailer, keep walking, don't stop...

Both horses made it across the street without any traffic and through the gate on the other side just fine.  I figured we'd be stuck there having to walk them back and forth from one side of the street to the other until they settled down, but since they never skipped a beat, we kept walking to see when they would notice that they were in unfamiliar surroundings and out of their comfort zone.  Gabbrielle noticed first.  Her head went up and she began looking around.  Then Bombay perked up and did a little huffing, but never broke into full-on snorting mode.

Once they both realized that new territory in the desert is ultimately more of the same, they relaxed.

My husband spotted a kit fox running along the edge of a bluff that dropped down into the arroyo.

On the way home there was a little more traffic on the main road.  Since I knew, and the horses knew, that they could cross, we made a point of stopping and waiting for cars to pass before stepping out into the street.  They got to experience having cars pass in front of them and behind them, and they didn't seem bothered by it, so it is now just a matter of making sure that they understand that whoa means whoa, especially before crossing a busy road, and then we can start riding them across streets.


Sam said...

Yay! Progress!

If you went in the direction I think you did, some mornings there is a gentleman that works his endurance horses in that particular desert. ...and there is a husband/wife duo that walk a pack of anywhere from 3 to 10 labs. They labs are very well behaved. Just keep it in mind. Both are typically out in the morning - before noon.

fernvalley01 said...

sounds good