Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's Official

All four horses have now crossed busy roads on the lead rope.  My husband and I took Bombay and Gabbrielle across one road this weekend, then P.S. and I took Rock and Gabbrielle across yesterday, and I took Lostine out today.  Guess who didn't handle it as well as the others?  My 25-year-old ex-alpha mare.

In Lostine's defense, I took her out without a buddy, she hasn't been out for a walk in weeks, and I took her across a busier road where people drive way faster than the road I led the other horses across.  One of the roads has a school zone, so if we cross on weekdays, traffic is forced to slow from 35 to 25 to 15 mph near the horse crossing, and there is a cop who lives near the corner who often parks his patrol car in a noticeable spot to keep driver's in line.  That's the road where we crossed Bombay, Gabbrielle and Rock.

The road where I took Lostine is much busier, is a main truck route, has a lot of blind dips, and most people drive 45 mph there.  This would not be a good road for a deaf person to cross, because you have to rely on your hearing to know if there are cars down in any of the blind dips.  They can rise up over the hills and be on you in a second.  I'm sure the perspective is clearer from horseback, but I was on foot.

When we crossed the road, Lostine started zig-zagging and looking at the lines on the road sideways.  She was also looking both ways for cars and dancing like she was walking on hot coals.  It was early enough in the morning that the asphalt shouldn't have been too hot.  I think she was just nervous.  We got to the other side and she started pulling on the lead barging ahead of me.  I'm not sure where she thought she was going, but that was a clear signal to me that I had taken her out of her comfort zone.  Up until that point she was walking on a very loose lead and staying politely beside or behind me.

She stopped to alert on an endurance rider trotting toward us on another trail.  We greeted each other and it wasn't until he passed that it occurred to me that this might be Lilyrose's husband, so I took some pictures of him riding toward the street.  Is this your husband, Lilyrose?

Lostine was mesmerized.  Hopefully, she was thinking, "Wow!  Just look how comfortable and confident that horse is with being out here in the desert and crossing busy roads."

I usually limit myself to a quick hello when I seen endurance riders because I know they are in training and on a mission.  I suspect some of them may be timing themselves.  However, I did run into a couple of ladies last weekend when my husband and I were out bicycling who were walking their horses and they told me it was okay to ride our bikes past their horses.  I had gotten off my bike and was walking it off to the side to let them pass.

They stopped to chat and gave us some information about endurance riding.  There is a local competition coming up, and they invited us to volunteer to learn more about the sport.  I read a lot of blogs by endurance riders and admire their and their horses' athletic abilities.  Even if they trip and fall down and lose their horse occasionally.  (Mel)  ; )

I walked Lostine around in unfamiliar territory for a while... or it was more like she dragged me around in unfamiliar territory for a while.  I had to revert back to basic halter training with her.  Once we reached the busy road, she relaxed.  I thought that was interesting.  One would think she either wouldn't relax until we got to the other side of the street safely or until she got sight of home, but her behavior told me that she was no longer concerned about the road and traffic, only about being taken further away from home than usual.


Sam said...

I'm glad you had a chance to see him - we run across him quite often, never had a chance to talk to him, but have often admired his dedication to his sport.

lilyrose said...

Yes that's my hubby. He's been working that one particular horse a lot lately. He's planning on taking him to the local endurance ride next month up in Scottsdale area. He does time his rides quite a bit. Usually when he's trotting on the track under the power lines. It's a mile between each horse gate. But he always has time to say hello! :)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

It's such a small world. I'll bet he's training for the same endurance competition that we were invited to volunteer for.

fernvalley01 said...

cool that you met Lilyrose's hubby! Poor old Lostine, silly thing you would think she would be the calmest in the bunch after all the solo trails rides you took with her in Nevada

achieve1dream said...

That is so cool that you get to meet other bloggers!! There are none in my area. *pout* Hehehehe!