A Very Short Ride and Wild Ideas

The first clue that yesterday’s grand plans turned into a very short ride is that I don’t have a single photo from it! Actually, the first clue is the title of this post, and I meant to get a photo of the little scrapes that ended my ride prematurely, but I didn’t.

How about this photo then? My morning computer assistant Kodiak, as scandalized by some of the a.m. Facebook fare as I often am:

“she said whaaat?”

As for the very short ride, Scrappy and I met N and Willow at the usual time and place and were all pretty well sweaty messes after tacking up in the suddenly-hot-again temperatures. Still we loaded our water bottles and trooped off to the water trough, maybe 1/4 from the trailer parking. Cinches were tightened, water was sipped, and then I led Scrappy over to one of the picnic tables to continue our practice of mounting from things. He has been a little worried by me climbing on objects over his head so the last few rides I’ve been practicing mounting him from whatever is handy. He isn’t tall at all and I usually zip right up from the ground onto my uniformly short horses but it would be too bad to be out somewhere, hurting, and need to use a mounting aide that your horse won’t get near! 
After giving him a moment of clicking and “yes, really step up next to it” he did and stood like a rock while I mounted. I was just opening my mouth to say what a good boy he was and ask him to move off when he sat back a little, spun neatly on his hindquarters to face the water trough again, and in the process drove his left hind leg into the picnic table, whacking his leg, scaring himself, and hopping away from the table. He was definitely startled but didn’t buck or bolt, just sort of how jigged nervously around for a moment until I dismounted to check him out. There was one 2″ and one .5″ hairless just-bloodied scrape high up on his left hind leg and his deep, liquid eyes were beseeching me for cookies to assuage the pain, but he walked and trotted out sound. Still with the acclimation to hind boots ongoing, a 2 day ride on the agenda in a week and a half, and the planned ride of hilly/hot miles, I decided to call it a day and just take him home. For his brain, and mine, I made him stand to be mounted again, though not from the table. I wasn’t going to start a fight with him about getting next to it again but wanted to be sure he would stand quietly to be mounted and didn’t get the freak out=dismount-and-go-home-early equation into his little brain. He stood very nicely for mounting and I got to instantly squelch any residual fear of mounting that decided to think about making an appearance in my brain. 
We came, we tacked up, we mounted, we untacked, we went home. Scrappy looked fine and sound once out of the trailer at home but I hosed his leg for a while just for good measure, while he longingly gazed at the Elk Grove mush percolating nearby. Definitely fine with me to end a ride, even a very short one, with a sound horse, so can’t complain too much!
As for the Wild Idea…Sheza Spazzy Filly is going to her first local honky Gymkhana on Saturday. My husband is going to handle steady gymkhana vet Blaze while I deal with Sheza, and yes, I’ll be wearing gloves. Honestly she may be great but I am prepared for Drama! The plan is to just hang out and let her take in the sights, spend some time tied to the trailer, maybe get led around some barrels if we’re feeling sane. Oh, there will be photos.
We’re going Where?!

4 thoughts on “A Very Short Ride and Wild Ideas

  1. Bird, I have to be honest and say that your stories with Scrappy kind of bring me down, cuz you just got the horse, and you're already putting lots of miles on, like he's a “grown up horse” in comparison to my 7 year old baby. I think of you when I'm out there having a struggle, “Geez, Bird just gets on and rides off into the mountains and I can't even get my horse out the door, and she's a snorting nervous wreck most of the time.” Also the ease at which you found a suitable distance prospect, where I spent about 2 years scouring Germany…*sigh* But one thing I'm not envious of – your California summers. I can't stand hot weather, I would just die there. I am eagerly awaiting fall, when heat and humidity aren't another factor working against me having a successful ride or hoof trim.

  2. Believe me Lytha, it's been a long journey to this point.

    First of all, it's hard to compare Scrappy and your gal because Scrappy has 2 LDs, 2 50s, and a 100 miler completion under his belt already. So he *is* more grown up and has seen more of the world. Also, Scrappy is my At Last Horse, after trying to find the right endurance partner since 2008. My mare and I were hit by a truck in 2008 which retired her to pasture. From there I have resold/returned 4 purchsed horses and kept 2 more, my 2 17 yr olds, neither of which are up to my longer term distance goals but have a loving forever home here. I picked Scrappy because I KNEW, finally, after years of buying and selling and screwing up, what I was actually after and comfortable riding. He is short, safe, sane, and can go all damn day, and all I can say is At Last. I wish you good luck and great bonding with your mare.

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