Friday, June 6, 2014

Up With the Roosters

With three of us hitting the trails super early to beat the heat this morning, there were some added challenges, but we worked through them, and the horses will be better for it.  I knew that P.S. was coming by this morning to ride, but didn't know what time.  A few weeks ago she was coming around noon, but she had to work this morning and I had been urging her to come earlier as it gets deeper into summer.  So, she totally beat us to the barn.  My husband and I were showering and getting dressed while she was saddling up.  I told her to go ahead and we would catch up.

The one problem I forgot about that happens when you ride three horses out in a herd of four is that the one horse left behind bellows out whinny after whinny.  That, in turn, attracts the attention of neighbors, who start coming out of their houses to investigate what is going on.  They either don't want to be seen in their pajamas or they don't want to appear to be nosy, so they hide behind bushes while watching what is going on.  That, in turn, leads to the horses going on alert because something is moving in the bushes.  It's an ugly cycle.

So, Rock and Bombay were getting a bit jacked up about the whole thing.  Gabbrielle was out of sight, Lostine was screaming, something was in the bushes, and my husband and I were acting weird because we were rushing to try to catch up with P.S.  It turned out that Gabbrielle was whinnying too, and balking at the gate, so P.S. had to work with her and spent so much time just trying to get her to stop calling out and to get her off the property that she figured she may as well just come back and wait for us.  That helped settle everyone down.

Then my husband mounted and couldn't get his boot in the stirrup due to a combination of the stirrup leathers being stiff, his hip being inflexible and in pain, and Rock walking off every time my husband tried to lean over to put his boot in the stirrup.  I gave him a chance to try to do it himself, but when all else failed, I dismounted and got him situated.

Once all three horses were together and out of hearing distance from Lostine's screams, everything was fine.


Soon it was time for P.S. to go back to the barn because she had to get to work, but my husband wanted to keep riding.  We had practiced meeting each other on horseback in the desert with Rock and Gabbrielle, but not with Bombay, and we had never practiced separating the horses on the trails before.  P.S. headed down the trail for home, and Rock wanted to follow.  Bombay was okay with turning away, so I headed in a different direction to see if Rock would follow me instead of P.S.

My husband got him turned around and followed me for a little while, but when I looked back, I saw that Gabbrielle was walking backwards in an attempt to get to us.

I was worried that if Gabbrielle got too worked up about being separated from her buddies, she could cause a wreck, and the worst place for that to happen is when crossing the city street.  So, to be safe, I turned Bombay around to head for Gabbrielle.  Once Gabbrielle saw us coming, she went forward and headed for home.  Unfortunately, that got Bombay all worked up and he wanted to jig all the way to Gabbrielle.

You know how I love riding out his jigs.  You can see the lead rope flying as he bounces along in anticipation of catching up to her.  Every photo my camera took from this point forward, he had his ears zoned in on Gabbrielle.  My husband pointed out that P.S. had now gotten Gabbrielle across the street okay, so we should turn around and keep riding.  However, Bombay's behavior now had me worried.  I could tell that he didn't care that Rock was still with him and that I was on his back.  He was going to get to Gabbrielle anyway he could.  This was a situation I would prefer that my horse trainer handle.  I could turn Bombay away from Gabbrielle and try to ride out again, but by his body language, I knew it wouldn't be easy, and would probably be dangerous for me.  I saw a lot of head tossing, bucking, and trotting in circles in my near future.

When you are riding Rock, it's easy to just want to keep going, because he's so relaxed and has such a level head.  But when you are riding Bombay or Gabbrielle, it's like caring for an autistic child.  They get very agitated by any change in their routine, so you have to introduce changes a little at a time to avoid a blow out.  Considering that both my husband and I forgot our phones at home in our rush to catch up to P.S. and couldn't call someone if we got into trouble, I made the choice to return to the barn.  We'll try again in the morning.  Hopefully, things will go smoother then.


1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

Oh well. It happens. I'm glad your husband is still riding with you. I hope his back is better!