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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

October 16, 2011

So we did what we needed to do: RIDE

As mentioned in a previous posting, Journey has been getting a lot of round pen work, ground exercises for respect, hours, and hours over the past two months.  But that time has eaten into our trail time to the point that we weren't riding at all.  We saddled up bright and early this morning and while I was digging for the rubber mallet to apply her hoof boots, Journey was working up a nasty head of steam.  NEIGH...................! NEIGH..................!  OMG!!!!!!!!!!  I can't leave Phebes!!!  And exhibiting my all time favorite horse behavior:

STANDING ON THREE LEGS with the fourth leg pawing the air.  You gotta love it.

Doug was saddling up Big Cree so I took that opportunity to cuss and grumble do some yielding to get her mind on me and off Phebes.  NEIGH.....................! O-M-G..................!   I can't leave Phebes!!!  "Oh yes you can my little spotted pea brain,  oh yes you will,  and um....we did.  

 So the focus now shifts to Cree.  He's ahead, oh oh oh!  He's behind, I gotta turn around, no no...I gotta catch up.    Ummmm so I took that opportunity to cuss and grumble to do one reins this direction, that direction, over and over and over.  Then the Royal Spotted one decided to run down hills willy-nilly because Big Cree was at the bottom and she was at the top.  She is smart and knows she has me on a steep incline.  So we run down the hill, I reverse and we gallop back up.  We trot down the hill, I reverse and we gallop back up, we jig down the hill, we reverse and gallop back up, we walk down the hill.  So it boils down to all over her anxious herd boundness burbling to the surface like a great tsunami.  It was an adventurous hair-raising ride, and further indicates how much work this little horse still needs and why she was sold in the first place.  Thinking back on Phebes at this stage I was two full years away from a safe solo ride, and never fully broke her of race brain when someone came thundering up behind and passed us.  I could control her but her mental state was with the herd in those moments.  Journeys is with the herd 24/7 so I'm going to be changing my riding tactics somewhat.  More alone riding to cement first what to do right, followed by buddy rides to test her.  I'll just have to be very careful who my buddy riders are for the next six months.

Even though the ride today presented some challenging behaviors to keep me on my toes (and in the saddle) we did have some really good moments.  She mostly led the way most of the ride, and she gave me several nice loose rein canters without bucking!  It was a clear fall day, temps in the 70's, nice breeze, and the foliage in full color and coming down fast.  Plenty of water in the streams for thirsty horses so just a super nice morning to be out and about.

After we got home I didn't turn her out with Phebes, but instead put the gate up to give us the front to ourselves and did softening and bending since we'd had none out on the trail.  She did it great at home :-/

I tied her up to the horse trailer, opened up the back to load up some of our gear, stepped back out, no horse!  She had untied herself, and went down to stand across the fence from the other two horses.  I just stood there, hands on hips, and shook my head.  She is gonna be a tough little nut to crack.  I turned her out and she set to herding Phebes this way and that, and cantering around happy with herself.

Now I'm finally getting around to baking the monster bread recipe given to me by fellow blogger Shannon and it raised to gargantuan heights, and is baking in the oven.  Nothing like the scent of fresh bread baking.  Hope it tastes as good as it looks.

~ E.G.

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