Thursday, February 23, 2017

Go West, Young Horse

My friend and I planned to meet up on the trails for a ride again today just like last week.  I'm usually early and she's usually late, so I always plan to warm my horse up out there while waiting.  However, Rock was getting impatient going in circles.  He didn't know we were meeting his buddy, so he didn't see the point in going round and round on the same trails.  He kept pulling toward home.

I wore my fitness watch to track my distance and path.  Since we were going to be out a while, I didn't wear my  heart rate monitor, because it gets uncomfortable digging into my rib cage after a while.  I knew I turned it on at 10 minutes to our meeting time, and the watch showed that I'd been warming up for half an hour.  My friend was about 20 minutes late.  That wasn't unusual.

However, when I'd been out riding for 45 minutes, my hips started hurting and I wondered if I'd be able to ride much further once she did arrive.  I was beginning to worry, and I wanted to check for messages on my phone, since I turn off the volume when I ride.  However, I don't ride with my reading glasses, so I would have to go back to the house to see if there were any messages.

At the same time, Rock was acting funny about one of his front legs and I wondered if I should get off and pick out his hooves.  Then the UPS truck drove up the street, and I knew I was expecting two packages containing gifts for my husband's birthday.  I didn't want someone to get to them before me, so I just made the decision to go home.

No messages, plus being 45 minutes late, really had me worried.  I was just about to text her to see if she was okay, when she came riding down the driveway.  She had some trouble at the fairgrounds.  As soon as she said that, I thought, "Oh crap!  I meant to warn her that the rodeo is in town."

Some men were setting up for the rodeo, pounding poles into the ground for carnival tents, and they spooked her horse.  He spooked so bad that his boots flew off his hooves, so she had to get off and put them back on.  She said her horse was also moving a lot slower today than usual.  I always worry about her riding alone for an hour to get to my part of the desert.  She has to cross several busy roads along the way.  When she leaves my place, I tell her to text me when she gets home, so that I know she made it safe.  She planned to take a different route home to avoid the carnival mess.

Bombay was completely obsessed with her gelding.

Her horse doesn't show any interest in my horses at all.  He always behaves like a gentleman.  She said he knows the way to my house now and he just takes her there without her having to direct him.

A military helicopter flew overhead as we were crossing the street, which prevented us from being able to hear cars coming.  For some reason, that happens to me a lot, and I'd swear that most of these helicopter pilots purposefully turn to fly right over me when I'm riding my horse.

Rock was acting weird whenever her horse got in front of him or beside him.  At first, Rock hung back and everything was fine, but we couldn't hear each other talk, so we had to ride closer.  I pulled hard on the outside rein to keep him from biting my friend's horse.  Then both horses were trying to push each other off the trail.

Then Rock got super irritable and was fighting me so that he could run up on her horse's rump and take a bite out of him.  Riding stopped being fun for me at that point, so I told her what was going on, and she let me pass.  Once Rock was out in front, his ears went forward again and he was happy.

I wish he were more responsive to the reins and bit, because simply turning him to circle him when he gets aggressive like that is difficult and painful for me.  My shoulders and back hurt from all the pulling.  Being out in front gave my muscles some much-needed relief.  He's not good about moving off my leg either, so I may have to go back to wearing spurs.  Right now the only crutch I've got is a quirt that hangs around my saddle horn, which only works for getting him to speed up.  I don't have much help in getting him to slow down or move over.

It's embarrassing having a rude horse.  I guess he has to go on a few trail rides with other horses before he'll learn the boundaries I've set up for him.  No biting.  No shoving.  No kicking.  No chasing.  No racing.  In other words, be respectful.

When I tied him to the trailer, but before I could remove his saddle, he peed a river.  Rock and I had been out riding for an hour and a half overall.  If he was holding it all that time, that would explain why he was rushing home.  I guess he doesn't feel comfortable peeing with a rider on his back.

This time I fed my friend some lunch, because last time I thought she'd be home in an hour, but it took her something like two to three hours to ride home because she took the scenic route and got lost.  I didn't want her to be stranded in the desert and starving.  At least this way, since I fed her lunch, she'd only be stranded.  Ha ha!  We agreed that next time she'll just ride to my house so that I don't wear out my hips warming up waiting for her.  I can also leave my phone volume on and have my reading glasses within reach so she can send messages if she's in trouble.


Crystal said...

Wow that's dedication riding an hour to your place!
Will be good for Rock to ride out with others more he should figure out it's funner if he behaves

Semi Feral Equestrian said...

Love the photos! Thanks so much for sharing.

I do need to get out more this year, but I have to trailer out to get anywhere. I do miss being out west where I had a lot more options on where to ride.