Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hard -headed gelding

I woke up this morning and the sun was shining. Now that's motivating. DH and I took the dogs for a walk up to Starbucks where he got his tall "shot in the dark," and I warmed up (it was colder out than it looked) with a skinny cinnamon dolce latte. As soon as we got back we changed into barn clothes and headed out to take advantage of a dry day in the Pacific Northwest.

On the way out the DH asked me if I might want to go on a trail ride around the place rather than riding in the arena as I usually do. My first inclination was to say no...Boo gives me a lot of attitude when we get outside his comfort zone. I've been injured enough times to have "attitude" be outside MY comfort zone. Still, I thought about it for a few minutes and decided to cowgirl up and keep the DH company. We had been having a pretty companionable weekend, and I wasn't quite ready for it to end as we went our separate ways.

When we trail ride around the barn we ride in the neigboring farmer's fields unless they're planted, and then we have to ride around the outside edges of the fields. We work really hard to be good neighbors about this. Otherwise we might lose the privilege and then we'd have to trailer out to ride anywhere outside the arena. Both horses were a little hyped up today as we headed out. There was a lot of standing water and a LOT of mud. Neither horse was particularly happy about slip-sliding along. Still we managed to get in about an hour of riding. I didn't even try to get Boo to cross a mud puddle out there. I knew it would either be futile, or I would be out there for hours trying to cajole him across. We had to turn away from the barn a couple of times as the horses were doing a bit of rushing when they thought they were gonna get to go home. In the end it worked out well, although I think I'll wait for it to dry out a bit before I head out there again.

Once we got back to the barn and Boo was back in familiar surroundings, I decided to go ahead with the attempt to cross the water. Our little mud puddle lake was somewhat smaller than it had been, but it's still big enough to cause Boo to balk at crossing it. I had DH go get my camera out of the truck to record my success. Boo had crossed the puddle Saturday numerous times, so I proceeded to head for the water. Boo stopped at the edge...put his head down...snorted...and backed up away from the edge. " Nope" , he seemed to be saying. "Not doing that today." He proceeded to spend the next 15 minutes refusing to go forward across the puddle. We backed up. We sidepassed. We circled. We trotted away. I could feel myself tensing up...getting irritated. DH called me on it and told me I needed to not escalate the situation. Instead I took a deep breath and continued to ask with nudges with my seat and legs. I kept at it and kept at it and kept at it...until... Boo crossed the water. No lead horse necessary. I just out stubborned him. VICTORY... today...


  1. Wonderful!! Good for you for not caving. And good for Boo for working through an uncomfortable situation. Nice that you got a trail ride in too!

  2. That is GREAT. I know it is something I will have to work on with Beau.. he does not enjoy water at all! Great job..and it was a beautiful weekend. I wish I could have ridden this weekend!