Saturday, January 17, 2015

This and That

Looks who's trying to steal the horse's salt rock...

Actually, I think she was after the rope.  It's time for the raven's grown babies to start nesting.  The hawk has taken over the raven's nest from last year.

My husband nearly gave me a heart attack by rancherizing my truck.  He dragged all the areas on our property that had dried up weeds, but had to contend with some really tight corners and narrow alleys.  I thought for sure he was going to bring it back scratched, dented, and with four flat tires.

My neighbors are on their third realtor, and she is having another open house this weekend.  That means more traffic, strangers hanging around, and signs in the street in front of the gate to the bridle trails.  I took Bombay for a hand walk to see how he'd deal with the activity.  Of course, he couldn't care less.  Things would be different if I were in the saddle.  We walked for about half a mile with him hanging his head low, totally relaxed, and then I opened my mouth to say something to him, and he tripped and spooked at the same time over the sound of my voice.

Then he balked and gawked at something on an adjacent trail, and I kept walking, attempting to drag him.  He did follow me, but only on the very end of the rope.  It turned out that he saw a bicyclist.  He gawked, but kept walking.  So, he gets a point for that.  But then after the bicyclist got behind us, my arm rustled a branch as I walked past a bush, and Bombay jumped straight up into the air and started to run right over me.  I threw the lead rope up into his face and stopped him cold.  I find that Bombay is at a point where he can handle passing hikers, bikers, and horseback riders, but things get sketchy once they are behind him and out of sight.  It's the horse's imagination that gets the best of him.

Then I took Gabbrielle for a hand walk and was disappointed to see that the open house was over.  The signs were gone.  So, we went out in the desert to look for people to practice walking past.  I spotted some horseback riders up ahead coming toward us, so I led her toward them, but on an adjacent trail in case they had horses that get over-excited about seeing other horses.  Gabbrielle's neck arched, nostrils flared, tail went up over her back, and she began prancing and pooping.

The horseback riders were staring at us, so I waved.  The woman said, "Is everything okay?"

There it is again -- that fated question that horseback riders always ask of people who hand walk their horses.  It's as if something must be wrong if you are not on the horse's back.  I'd understand the reasoning behind asking the question if my horse were saddled with a bridle and reins, and if I were walking alongside her limping, but she had nothing on but a halter and I was striding along merrily.

"Yup.  We're just out for a walk," I said.

Then their horses got excited and started trotting forward in short bursts while their riders tried to hold them back.  I stopped Gabbrielle and waited for them to pass and get a ways down the trail before turning to follow them.  I really would like to make Gabbrielle follow strange horses comfortably and at a closer distance, but since these riders' horses were getting hyper, I gave them their space.  Gabbrielle called out to them and I shushed her up.  Whinnying doesn't help matters.

Gabbrielle is at a point where I can ride her with a buddy horse and have a fairly decent ride as long as we don't run into hikers, bikers, or other horseback riders.  I can ride her with a buddy horse when we run into other people and animals, but it can get sketchy.  I haven't ridden her out alone yet.  P.S. did a few times, but reported that Gabbrielle was very nervous, constantly looking for something to spook at, so she kept the rides short.  If I could be guaranteed that we wouldn't run into anyone if I rode her out alone, I'd give it a try right now, but this is the busiest time of year on the trails, so I think I will hand walk her alone and ride her with a buddy horse for a while.

I've taken her to rodeos and tied her to the trailer several times, and every time she runs back and forth screaming and pooping all day long.  She never really seems to settle down.  She's in the same bloodline as Bombay, she's half his age, and he still hasn't learned to settle down around strange horses, so I don't have much hope for Gabbrielle.

The desert was so green after the most recent rainfall, so I let Gabbrielle graze on a patch of grass.  A coyote trotted past us, but she had her head buried in the ground, so she didn't see it.  We're expecting this to be an especially bad year for bugs and scorpions because of all the moisture.  Last year was nice.  It was fairly dry, and I think the most annoying of the creatures to harass us were the toads.

3 comments:

How Sam Sees It said...

That might be something we can work with using Maggie. I've got a couple things next weekend going on, but the following week?

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Yeah, I was thinking you and Maggie could help with that too. I knew you were busy this weekend, and it rained last weekend, so I didn't contact you. In two weekends sounds good. Thanks.

achieve1dream said...

I used to get asked that question all the time when I'd get off to walk. I had a problem with my right knee hurting on long rides so I'd occasionally just get off and walk. If it was winter when people asked (we were on roads so everyone driving by would stop and ask) I said I was warming up. When in the summer I would just say I needed exercise too haha. Only one time in the years and years I rode out there did my horse actually hurt herself (she stepped on her own foot and cut it) and no one asked why I was walking LOL!!!!

I hope you and Christine can get out for some rides. Keeping my fingers crossed the hot weather and bugs hold off a while longer for you guys! :D