Tuesday, May 5, 2015

We Tried

We have a lot of cloud cover and wind today, so I wanted to attempt a trail ride.  I checked the weather forecast to decide when the best time would be to ride based upon a lack of precipitation and lower wind speeds.  Then my son texted me to let me know that he'd be calling me on his lunch break.  I knew I had to leave for my trail ride right then or I'd either miss his call or miss being able to ride.  I looked up and down the bridle trails and didn't see any trucks, tractors, or cranes.  Lostine is pretty much the only horse who understands that it is just the wind blowing branches and rustling leaves, so I figured she'd give me a spook-free ride.

We got up to the end of the driveway just before crossing the street and she started running backwards.  At first, I thought she was just refusing to go for a trail ride in a big way.  I can't steer her well when she is running backwards, and she was about to run us right into a ditch, so I pulled her head around and she circled forward.  Once she was pointed at the street, I let her straighten out, but she spun and tried to run back to the barn.  I pulled her head around again and she tried bucking.

I realized that this was not a refusal, but something was seriously scaring her, because this was very much out of character for her.  I was looking around while she was spinning and trying to buck, but I didn't see anything.  Still, she wouldn't settle down, so I dismounted and led her across the street.  

She did willingly walk beside me, but just as we reached the gate to the bridle trails, we heard a loud roaring and banging sound.  I looked up the trail and saw a power company truck pulling a long trailer behind it coming our way.  I guessed that Lostine had sensed the truck coming and was trying to warn me by refusing to cross the street on to the bridle trails.  We let the truck pass and started to walk out to the desert when another truck and a tractor started coming toward us on the same trail.  I was trying to get us out of their way and didn't notice that there was already another truck and tractor to our left with men in hard hats running around.  That's probably what she saw that made her run for the barn.  Tractors can look like strange, monstrous animals to horses who haven't seen them before, and men in hard hats running around are much scarier in the distance to a horse than up close.

I had heard a truck while I was saddling up, but didn't make the connection that it was power company trucks coming up the bridle trails.  The timing of all of it was awful.  I did my due diligence by keeping an eye out for them before I saddled up, but they just happened to arrive right when I was riding out.  I led Lostine on a trail above where they stopped to do their construction so that she could watch them and get used the noise.  They had men cutting up the old power poles with chainsaws, and the tractors were lifting the poles and dumping them onto the flatbed trailer.  Here Lostine is watching them, but you can't see anything because the camera is so wide angle and makes everything look further away than it actually is...

 We stumbled upon a huge dead rat on the trail.  Once again, the GoPro doesn't do its size justice...

The other day when I was mountain biking, I stopped to ask a security guard when SRP would wrap up their project in my part of the desert, and she said she had no idea.  I'm sure she gets asked that a lot and is instructed to plead ignorance.  As I write, they've got their helicopter flying low up and down the power lines again.  I definitely don't want to be on the back of a horse when that happens.  I've noticed that there are a lot less hoof prints out on the trails since SRP took them over, so I know I'm not the only one who isn't interested in finding out how her horses react to the activity.

When we got home I tried riding Lostine in the round pen, but that didn't last long either.  I realized that I left a rake in our path, which was an accident waiting to happen.  I was in the middle of debating whether to just steer her around it or get off and move the rake, when she alerted on something in the arroyo.  

If it's just an animal, it usually goes away, but the last time I thought it was just an animal, it turned out to be my neighbor and he scared the living daylight out of Bombay when he popped up out of the bushes.  This guy likes to weed and plant more desirable stuff in the arroyo, but he doesn't have permission to be on our property.  Unfortunately, the neighbor next to my round pen did give him permission to do that on her property.  I thought I'd be overstepping my bounds if I explained to her that his presence causes problems for me because he spooks my horses and puts my safety at risk when he's down there doing stuff beneath my round pen, so I said nothing.  I figured next time I caught the guy down there, I'd talk to him about it and try to work something out.  I don't ride in the round pen often, and he doesn't have to be down in the arroyo when I am riding.  Sometimes I think he goes down there when I'm working with horses in the round pen just because he's nosy.

Anyway, I came close to getting into one wreck today, so I didn't want to risk another one if he was down there, so I dismounted and led Lostine down into the arroyo to look for him and talk to him about the problem.

Lostine was a pro about navigating the little hills and bushes.  We had to evade some poison ivy and low hanging branches.  I called out, "Is anyone down here?" but no one answered, so we headed back to the round pen.  I looked at the time and realized that my son was going to call any minute now, so I had to untack her and take the dogs out for a potty break really quick.

I'm sure she was pleased that I didn't ride her much, but I'm hoping next time the universe will be a little more cooperative and let me enjoy the ride.


achieve1dream said...

Your saddle looks really comfortable!!!!

What a mess from the very beginning! How long can it possibly take them to replace the poles?? I guess the good news is it shouldn't have to be done for a very long time again... if they ever get it done that is.

That's so strange how Lostine reacted... I'm glad neither of you was hurt.

Ew rat!!! We have them at the place where I'm working... I've never seen them before.. they are so huge and so gross!!!!

How Sam Sees It said...

I thought SRP was done with all their work - I was really surprised when I passed their trucks the other day. Ugggg....