9.06.2010

rodeo anyone?

Today started out peaceful.

 













Nemo eating breakfast in the sun


I was finally able to spend some time with our horses. This past week between work, we had the farrier out, rain, appointments, rain, hockey board meeting, rained out football game,  rescheduled football game, rain, sick yesterday - but today, was a good day to ride! It had been a whole week. By the time we could get out, it started to rain. We didn't care, we did a warm-up lunge in the rain anyways - and then we all took cover until it ended. So the beginning of today's lesson was, how to take cover and remain calm in rain and thunder with your human :) Koda, Nemo, and Harmony passed with flying colors. Three horses and two humans in half a walk-in is pretty cozy. Shortly after the rain stopped, and we headed out on the trail.

Koda was on fast-forwarded, unusual for him. We tackled "the corner" before Brad and Nemo reached us. Koda circled, I thought "here we go...no we don't" and we did, walk on. 

It has become clear that the gravel/rocks are really what is bothering Koda's feet, and causing the ouchy-tripping. We walk on grass whenever possible, but sometime you have to cross on gravel/rocks. I feel terrible that it bothers him. He still does his occasional lazy-itis trip in the grass, but that is different. Regardless, Koda was on forward march the entire ride. When we got back to the gravel, it was back to "stumbling". I talked to the farrier about it, he said his feet are rock solid. Shoes would help, but he really doesn't need them...

Unfortunately, sudden mosquitoes came out in force and kept us all on our toes. As usual, after our trail ride we headed down the road. Before we got to the highway, Koda balked at a small piece of white paper - like it was something. Not the norm. We rounded the corner onto the grassy wide-area along the highway, and...both horses did not want to cross the muddy culvert area today. We were both busy trying to get our horses across. Koda did his usual backing, and that's when the show started.

The mud was a long strip but only 12-ish" wide, and leads into a culvert that is huge with a white insert. Water drains into it, with the recent rain there was standing water in it.  The surrounding ground was mushy. Really, the culvert is a good thing. It takes water away from the field, and the pasture. Try convincing a horse.

Koda backed, I moved him forward. He chose to keep backing. I chose to correct him - but instead he scooted and the loose end of the rein slipped to the wrong side. I tried to get the rein back to the correct side (so I wouldn't drop it, if it came to that) and move him forward. Okay then, we'll do some circle work here instead and the mud strip won't seem so bad. He zigged. I zagged - and WHOA, I almost fell off! Thank god I was on a western saddle and not english, I was almost side-ways going down slo-mo when I grabbed the horn, and pulled myself up - as we spun in a circle. By then the cars on the highway slowed to watch, the two resident girls had run to the end of their driveway to watch, and Nemo and Brad were behind us watching the whole thing (which went on for a while). It was all surreal. Brad chuckled and said "next time you decide to put on a show and ride in a rodeo, charge admission" Ha ha, very funny.  No, Koda didn't offer to buck - but he just about spun me off. I know that wasn't what he was trying to do. I just lost my balance. What happened immediately after, made me very proud of my boy. Koda responded and moved forward, he marched right over that mud strip without so much as a quiver. Thanks buddy, for trusting me. 

Nemo said "okay, I'll go too" - and we rode on. I'm pretty sure I lit up that highway. So bright that I scared some birds, they suddenly squawked and flew up right out of the corn a foot away from us and spooked Koda. I swear we jumped three feet sideways. The rest of the ride was smooth sailing. We not only walked right over that mud strip on the way back, but the insignificant white paper too. Koda earned HUGE praise for trusting me. He made my day. I love my horse. Today ended peaceful.


8 comments:

Breathe said...

Bet you didn't know it was "National work on your reining spin day!" Glad it was a good ride and that you rode him through!

Kate said...

Glad it all worked out well - those things can be pretty scary!

fernvalley01 said...

Spins can be way harder to sit that a little buck .Way to go you!And Koda, getting through some scary steps together

aurora said...

Breathe, I didn't know lol. We need to continue working on our spins. He would be great at reining.

Kate, for some reason the girl that doesn't want to get into it, especially by the road where I have an audience, wasn't scared today. Well, except for maybe the almost falling off part. I'm glad it ended well too.

Fern, I agree sitting a spin can be harder. Koda spun his butt around faster than I anticipated. The odd part is, the second that part of our lil rodeo was done, he was done and just walked off. It's almost like he knew...

In hindsight, I have trainer Patty's voice running through my head - there is a lot I could have done different. Koda doesn't have a mean bone in his body. He knows exactly what is going on, and try's to work it to his liking. We just need to keep working on trust.

CCC said...

As I read your post I was thinking about horses and water and how they can't perceive the depth of it which causes them a lot of consternation. Probably not the cause of your problem still I was wondering if you had heard of Temple Grandin, the autistic (and odd) lady who has pioneered much of the livestock industry's more human treatment of animals. I think there's a movie about her now but there is also a link on my blog. I love learning about animals anywhere I can.

Jeni said...

Aurora so proud of you for sticking that spin until he moved forward! Honestly you shouldn't have an issue next time so long as you blow it all out of your mind.

aurora said...

CCC, I haven't heard of Temple Grandin. I am going to look her up. Thanks for the mention. My hubby on the other hand knows about her, and was explaining her method of walking cows through a treatment bath. She sounds fascinating.

Thanks Jeni. I only wish it was that easy. It really was big for us, and will only help us get through other sticky situations.

Shirley said...

I've been there on those teleport spins! Been on the ground because of them too- but not with Beamer. Kudos to you for staying on! I'm going to check out that link to Temple Grandid too.