Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Day of Long Orange Things

You can bet that the entire time I was bed ridden I was anxiously awaiting the next time I could ride a horse instead of the bed.  That day finally came.  My husband was digging the last little bit of the final hole for our new hitching post.

Now we can have two horses tied to the trailer and two horses tied to the hitching post, and everyone will be within reach of the tack.

I picked Rock to ride, or maybe he volunteered.  It was hard to resist him when he was standing at the gate with his ears perched forward.

When I led Rock around the trailer, he popped his head up in surprise to see my husband lying on his belly in an orange shirt with his head and arms disappearing into this deep hole in the ground.  I didn't want to just tie Rock to the trailer, walk away to get the grooming supplies, have my husband pop up out of that hole, and take Rock by even a bigger surprise, so I held him myself until my husband popped up and sat up.  Rock watched him with interest, but didn't run for his life like some horses I know would have.

So, I tied him to the trailer while my husband went back to looking like a long orange thing on its belly slithering around on the ground.  Rock is an introvert who doesn't often wear his emotions on his sleeve, so I have to pay attention to the more subtle signs of him getting nervous.  I saw that he wasn't comfortable with the activity behind him, so I lunged him in the round pen for a little bit, and then went back to grooming and tacking him up.  That seemed to do the trick.

We rode out and had the desert to ourselves.  I practiced riding and watching the ground for rattlesnakes.  P.S. is taking equitation lessons with a new instructor, and she explained the difference between riding and being a passenger as moving in unison with your horse and concentrating on what you want your horse to do next.  I've heard the phrase "ride actively" plenty of times, but I always interpreted it as meaning don't just go straight down the trail, but back up, side pass, do circles, etc.  Well, I happen to like going straight down the trail, so I like this instructor's interpretation of riding actively much better.

Interestingly, it worked.  I was able to head a lot of problems off at the pass, such as snatching snacks, stepping on cholla balls and rocks, and taking the wrong trails.  Rock was really good about following the slightest of directions.  He neck reins well now.  I don't have to pull on the direct rein much anymore, which is nice because he ignored that anyway.

On the way back to the barn we ran into my husband holding his power tools and a bunch of stuff in a plastic bag.  Rock's head popped up, but he kept walking past him.  Rock likes to play with plastic bags, so I'm sure he was hoping there was a snack or a toy in there for him.  It would have been difficult getting any of my other horses past someone holding a plastic bag.  One more thing to work on with them.

After I put Rock away, I walked up the driveway stupidly looking over my shoulder to make sure I didn't forget anything, and I almost stepped on another long orange thing.

I yelped and jumped in surprise, and he jumped in surprise too.  I apologized for startling him, and ran into the house to tell my husband that our buddy was out on the driveway.

He walked along our wall and then walked directly toward my husband as he photographed him.  I got a shot just when my husband was moving out of his way.

Now if only I could have gotten my husband to lie down on his belly next to the Gila Monster, you'd see what I mean about it being a day of long orange things.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

haha! That last photo is funny.
And I couldn't help but notice your neighbor's phallic cactus behind your hubby. ;)

Nice hitching rail!


Brenda said...

Of course, I like all your Gila Monster photos, but that last one with your husband is the best. Be sure to update on the play room the kids set up under the bush. :)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Dang it, Lisa! Now you've got me noticing all the phallic stuff out in the desert too. The saguaros are in rare form right now, because they have heads that are blossoming with flowers. I'll have to take my camera out and get some close-ups.

Brenda - Yeah, I wish I didn't have that shutter delay and got the shot right when it was creeping up on his shoe.

achieve1dream said...

Oh my goodness that last photo is awesome. You husband looks so calm. I probably would have been scrambling out of the way. I'm glad Rock was a good boy!