Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kate wakes up!

Yesterday's "reward" ride was anything but:
Since grandson Mike is at camp this week, I got to ride Kate myself. She has been a sleepy, lazy, feet-ouchy, lump for the last month, both with Mike (good) and in group trail rides (not so good). Yesterday, however, when asked to leave the place (just down to Hank's cattle pasture, where she learned to be a trail horse!) all by her wittle self, Kate became a little twit!
Well, actually, a big twit!
About half the time, she would just balk and say "Oh no oh no oh no! I can't do it!" But a couple of times she got a bit nasty, shaking her head violently, half rearing, threatening to whirl around and head for home.

We had several things conspiring against us:
There was a storm front moving in.
I was trying Pat's trail saddle, which felt entirely foreign to me.
I had taken along my dressage whip, anticipating lazy, but once she new it was there, she was anything but.
I put Kate's Simple Boots on, so she didn't have to be so careful where she put her feet.
I think Kate's been emailing Washashe at All Horse Stuff for naughty inspiration.
The Army was playing across the ridge, so we had artillery fire most of the day.
The neighbor is getting a new porch, so we had compressors and nail guns all day.
With the heat, there's been a burn ban, and Hank's refuse pile has blown all around the pasture.
But the worst was:
The was COW POO in the cattle pasture!

There was a time when I would have really gotten after her for such nonsense, but since my fall with Maddie I have noticed that I have been a little more timid. And I was by myself, so I did not want to risk another wreck. So I merely corrected her misbehaviors, waited for her to be calm, then asked her to move on, which she generally agreed to do on the first or second request. The couple of times I thought she was settling, and I would relax on my contact a bit, she'd pull another silly prank. We looped around the pasture twice (though I decided to forego the muddy bottom), then cut through the back way to the ditch road. Once Kate realized where she was, she relaxed a bit--until we came upon Sandy's friend Trackster playing in the field. Oh, and then there was the foreign looking beach chair that the neighbor boys had left beside the ditch the last time they went for a dip in the heat last week! But these two spooks were mostly just hard looks, and we finished the loop back to the driveway and home.

As we came down the driveway, Jackson was all bug-eyed, so I took Kate into his pasture to meet him. He was really curious, but wouldn't come up close until RT came over (Misty was obliviously grazing). Then he did that little chomp-chomping thing that juveniles do towards new horses and snorted a couple of times. Then RT wandered off, so Jackson backed off too. But it was a cute way to end the ride. (Wish I'd had the camera!)


  1. Sounds like you didn't push her too far outside her comfort zone, so no meltdowns, and ended better than you started - that's the definition of a good ride to me! It sounds like there was an awful lot going on.

  2. I agree with Kate's (the blogger, not the horse, although, come to think of it, Kate the horse might agree as well:) definition of a good ride. As for you, I would say, you were not so much timid as smart. This was an enjoyable and interesting read.