Monday, October 6, 2014

Rock Made Me Proud

Rock and I went for a mid-Monday trail ride in hopes of having the desert to ourselves.  My plan worked.  There wasn't a soul in sight.  Rock was practically tip-toeing up the driveway in his resistance to avoid leaving the barn, so I had to keep tapping his sides with my spurs and squeezing with my legs.  I didn't bring my watch and was bummed that I couldn't time how long it took for him to get from the barn to the main trail, but then I remembered that I set my helmet cam to take a picture every 60 seconds and could time it once I saw the pictures.

Six minutes!  It took him six minutes to get from one point to another that would normally take any other horse just one or two minutes to do.  Eventually, he took a really long, stinky dump and got the lead out.

We needed to cross an arroyo and I decided that instead of halting him and reminding him to walk, I would just keep the reins loose to see if he remembered the walk rule on hills.  He started speeding up, so I did have to verbally say, "Walk!"  But he did walk the whole way after that without me having to remind him with use of the reins.  He got a big petting for that.

Our neighbors dropped the price on their house a little bit, so now there are more Looky Loos coming around.  As we were approaching the road on the way home, someone was cruising slowly back and forth in front of both their house and my house.  As long as drivers are just passing through, the horses don't pay any attention to vehicles, but when people cruise slowly back and forth, repeatedly turning around, it appears to be predatory behavior to horses, and the horses get worried.

I myself never know what crazy things people are going to do.  Sometimes they get so excited about seeing a horse that they react by honking their horn.  Other times they roll down their window and start yelling questions at me.  Or like the people last week, they jump up on top of something and start filming us.  I think my biggest fear is all the car doors flying open and a bunch of kids and dogs running up to my horse screaming and barking in excitement.  There's this one man who parks his vehicle in the same spot every weekend, opens up his tailgate, lets half a dozen dogs out, and lets them race around the trails unsupervised to get their exercise.  Needless to say, I won't ride my horse in that part of the desert on weekend mornings because of him.

I stopped Rock and waited for the Looky Loos to move along.  I used to not be able to stop him for more than a few seconds.  He was very impatient and would throw his head around whenever I asked him to take a break, but on this day he stopped for me three times and did not walk off or throw his head around.  He just stood and waited for me to cue him forward.

The last incident that made me proud was how he behaved during my bizarre dismount.  I reached behind me to grab the cantle as I twisted my outside leg out of the stirrup, and my thumbnail got caught on some beading on the back pocket of my jeans.  I ripped a jewel out and had to dig it out from underneath my thumbnail.  I went to lift my outside leg up and it wouldn't go.  I don't know know what my problem was, but I did not have the strength to lift my leg.

I was wearing spurs, and I didn't want to drag them against Rock's side, but I didn't have any control over that leg.  I suspect I used so much strength in my legs trying to get Rock to move out at the beginning of the ride when he had a load in his pants that my muscles were too exhausted to move by the end of the ride.  So, I leaned over his neck and dragged my leg up his side to his butt, where it got stuck.

My spur was totally dragging on him the whole way, and now I was in this weird position with my leg and spur caught on his rump.  I pulled my leg down to the other side with my hands while leaning over the saddle.  I just laid there on my belly across his back because I was worried that my legs might not be able to hold me up once I hit the ground.  Rock was such a good boy during the entire dismount.  He didn't move a muscle.  He didn't pin his ears.  He didn't get nervous.  He just waited as if this was something that happened on a regular basis.

It was a long drop down, but my legs did hold me up and I could walk.  I think I need to practice dismounting from a sawhorse or something before I go riding next time.  Obviously, I've probably dismounted a horse hundreds of times, but as I get older, things just don't work the way they used to.

Rock had to stop to smell the roses that the other horses planted while he was away...

Doesn't he have a gorgeous mane?


Grey Horse Matters said...

"Rock" sounds like he was a rock star on your ride. What a nice horse. Odd about dismounting with your not-working-so-good-leg.Wonder what happened to it. Anyway, he was perfect for you then too. Love his mane too!

Crystal said...

His mane really is pretty. And what a good boy, maybe slow is a good thing if hes gonna be so good to stand when things don't go right

How Sam Sees It said...

Your saddle maybe? I get that sometimes on the one saddle I use - when I need to use my legs more it presses on a nerve (I think). When I get off my legs are numb. It is really just the one saddle though.

He does have a pretty mane!

FoxLair said...

next time that guy shows up with the dogs, call animal control, once he gets a ticket, you probably won't see him around anymore.

achieve1dream said...

Rock is such a good boy!!! That's really weird about your leg. I've had mine go numb but not stop working so far... Of course I have woken up with my leg so numb I couldn't move my foot at all.. Maybe it was something like that?? I'm glad you were able to dismount safely.

Oh I forgot to mention on the previous post, Chrome does that balking thing especially around other horses. So annoying!!