Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ride Before Hurricane Norbert

The sun was beating down on us this morning with only some light clouds flowing in from the south, but the weather forecast says that Hurricane Norbert is on its way, ready to meet up with the monsoon moisture and we should have rain by this afternoon and over the next several days.  It seemed a lot of people were getting in horseback rides to beat the wet weather.  Yesterday I saw some riders on the cliff above my backyard, and then last night I heard horseback riders in the desert yelling whoa and stop at belligerent horses.  This morning as we prepared for our ride, just as we were mounting, all three of our horses whipped their heads around to look at three other horses trotting up out of the arroyo behind my house.

While I was leading Bombay around to slowly tighten his cinch, his head flew up and he came to a halt, refusing to move.  I knew something was wrong, and I discovered a Palo Verde Beetle had hitched a ride on his saddle pad behind the skirt.  I shooed it away before it could crawl under anything and start a bronc incident.

We each took turns leading and following.  Sometimes the horse in front gets nervous because it thinks it will be the first to be eaten by the invisible monster.  Bombay was relaxed until Gabbrielle stopped and poked her nose in his face to ask him to take over.  Then Bombay was convinced that Gabbrielle knew something scary was up ahead, so he tensed up.

Eventually, we let Rock pass us, because he was being anxious and pushy at the back of the line and my husband got tired of having to constantly slow him down.  Then Gabbrielle got nervous being at the back of the line.  She scrunched her butt up, put her tail between her legs and jumped into Bombay's rump.  I guess she thought something was nipping at her heels.  Maybe she stepped on an ant hill.  The ants around her have no qualms with biting everything that moves.  They bite again and again and again until you kill them or swipe them off your legs.  Then you itch for days afterward.

Going down into a ditch I asked my husband to try to walk Rock, because I knew Bombay would take off running if Rock did, and running up and down hills is just a bad habit that forms when we don't stop the horses from doing it.  He did a pretty good job.  Both Rock and Bombay wanted to run, but they contained their enthusiasm.

Back at the ranch.  I felt bad because Lostine was whinnying when we left, and it was fairly early in the morning.  I hoped she wasn't waking any sleeping neighbors, but she was quiet when we returned.

Yesterday I heard a strange horse whinny from my barn.  I know Lostine, Bombay and Gabbrielle's voices, and this was not theirs.  Then it hit me that it was Rock whinnying.  We've had him for well over a year now and that was the first time he has called out for his dinner.  I like his voice.  He could probably be a singer if he bellowed out like that more often.

I just checked the weather forecast again and it is looking like Norbert likes the Texans better.


HHmstead said...

Everyone here is always talking about moving to where it doesn't rain - what they don't realize is that it's always a trade-off! You guys have the bugs, snakes, etc., but do love "visiting" through your sunshine photos! 90 in the shade here today - so if this climate thing continues - some may not have to move to get their wish! :-)

achieve1dream said...

Looks like such a great ride!!! That's also cool that you heard Rock neigh finally. Too funny that it took so long lol.