No, not to me, to my cousin, H. (Well, I think technically she’s my first cousin once removed as her mother is my first cousin but that’s all so confusing.) H. has the horse bug and BAD. Last summer she got to ride Lucky, and since then she’s managed to convince her mom to fit riding lessons into their insane schedule (H. has five brothers and sisters. They’re BUSY.) And I mean she works at the barn to get discounts on lessons and borrowed a braiding book from Mom, as Mom suggested that’s a great way to pick up some extra horse money. As a chronic unable-to-braider, I concur. So despite Lucky having had almost no work (see previous post) I hopped on, warmed him up, and let H. get aboard. MUCH improvement since last year-she was trotting, good diagonals, and enough leg to stick on when he got a bit quick coming down the hill and she lost a stirrup.
Not, unfortunately, enough to stick it when two big pieces of agricultural equipment went roaring by. She hung on when he jumped at the first one, but I really don’t think he expected the long rake that was coming right behind it. We live on a dirt road here and sometimes the drivers do come bombing along and with equipment, that does get loud. I can’t say for certain that I would have sat the spook, or kept it to a lower key, though I think I would, but I have umpteen years of riding experience on H. She made a valiant effort, but came off over his hind end. I think Lucky was actually more startled by his rider suddenly being on the ground than anything else, and he took off up the hill. After making sure H. was all right (a little shaken up but otherwise fine) I went looking. He was already coming back, looking a bit sheepish.
With a little adrenaline rush myself, I admit, I retrieved Lucky and got back on to make sure he hadn’t decided he’d come up with a nifty new way to get out of working. After a few turns around the corral, I think more to reassure me than him, I decided he was his usual sanguine self and H. got back on.
She was back to trotting comfortably in no time. Her mother claims that she is not, absolutely not, buying a horse. Apparently my brother told his trainer this. His trainer laughed.
My ride today was once again plagued by bugs, and Lucky found himself in the middle of a fight he started and which I was not going to allow him to win. I think that, more than most horses, he has some issues with depth perception. The empty drainage ditch in the woods is not especially deep (no more than a foot down from ground level) and right now it’s dry. He’s been through before. Today he decided he was absolutely, no way, no how, going to go down that embankment. And unfortunately for him, I was not going to allow him to back off now and learn backing up and trying to spin was a way out. For my sake, I was also not going to get down and lead him on foot, though the thought had crossed my mind. Finally, I grabbed mane because he started to bunch up and I thought he might try to jump down it, but instead he skidded his way down and over. Obviously, I do not have a future eventer in the barn.
Oh, Tice? Still working on the whole concept of ground manners (he can be quite rude) and he also got a visit from a local personality: