Saturday, May 13, 2017

Not What We Expected

Friday I managed to leave work a tad earlier than usual.  As I drove home, I thought about riding Lucy with happy anticipation.  She has been so forward and happy to work since her stifle injections, and, when we work, she is starting to look strong and muscular with her veins popping out of her shiny coat like a true equine athlete.

Brett was busy moving compost from the bins into my garden with his tractor, but he hopped off when he saw me come out of the house wearing my breeches.  He wanted to ride Flash.  We both mentally thought about their history together, which wasn't pretty, and agreed to work at separate ends of the arena.

We tried putting the horses all together once, when one of the pastures was out of commission.  This was a few years ago.  Everyone got along fine except Lucy and Flash.  They are both alphas; and neither was willing to concede to the other.  There was a lot of ear pinning, charging and kicking.  There was some blood but fortunately nothing serious.  We separated them immediately.

Flash was a bit of a pill while we were tacking up.  He reached over, picked up his bridle, and started shaking it.  He tried to untie himself.  Lucy was an angel.

We walked up to the dressage court, keeping a good amount of distance between the two, and it was drama free.  Lucy lined herself up at the mounting block and stood quietly while I mounted.  I could hear Brett telling Flash to stand still.  Lucy and I walked to the top of the arena, while Brett mounted.

Meanwhile, Pistol was pitching a fit.  When Brett and I ride together, it is always with Lucy and Pistol.  The few times Brett has ridden Flash, I have ridden (or worked with) Tex.  Pistol was not happy.  The far end of the girls' pasture, the area we call the bedroom, is close to the dressage court.  Pistol was in the bedroom bucking, squealing, and spinning.

I watched Brett and Flash walk into the court from the mounting area.  Flash was bunched up and crow-hopping without leaving the ground.  I called over to Brett,
"Maybe you should get off."
"What?"
"Maybe you should get off.  He looks like he is going to explode."
"I can't hear you.  What?"
"GET OFF"
"I think I'll be okay."
"GET OFF!"

Brett hand walked Flash until he settled (and Pistol settled) and then got back on.

Meanwhile, Lucy was not jumping around but she was very resistant.  She was distracted.  What she really wanted to do was pin her ears and charge Flash and teach him his place.  She didn't, but she also didn't relax or pay attention to me very well.  It took twenty minutes to get a stretchy trot from her -- something I can pretty much get immediately these days.

I can't say it was the most productive ride we've had; but it was certainly interesting.

7 comments:

  1. Flash was just excited to be ridden. I was in control the entire time, well almost the entire time. Hard to hear with Pistol squealing. He was good after our walk about. Lucy just has no 'respect' for her elders, (me and Flash).

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  2. So.... will there be an encore of that duo?

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  3. Herd hierarchies?
    I've been watching a lot of TV programmes about understanding horses and why they behave as they do, never thought before about the whole predator/prey thing, makes such sense I feel like an idiot now! :)

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    1. Herd dynamics are endlessly interesting.

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  4. Almost as entertaining as a rodeo 😮

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  5. Sometimes the rides are more interesting then we want. But you guys are just starting back so she can be forgiven for being a bit distracted.

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.