where did that come from?

After we got rained out on our first attempt, another Friday group trail ride was planned. It wasn't suppose to rain, but once again it did. As the rain fell, so did the prospective riders. Eventually even the hardiest of us gave up the idea of heading out on the trails. We were going to do another farm ride instead, but the rain never let up. Those of us that remained at the barn, rode inside and turned a rainy day into a valued riding day.

Our morning ride was good, four of us riders worked in the indoor arena with our mounts. All the horses were less then motivated with the new deep indoor arena riding sand, but Koda was ridiculous. He was draaagging, leeeaning, and resisting to lope. Where did my willing boy go? I finally "cried uncle" and got some helpful tips from our trainer.

We took a break, and got treated to lunch at a new diner in town. We had good food, and great horse conversation. I had a yummy sandwich I've never heard of before, called a Monte Cristo. Have you ever tried one? Always fun to discover new foods.

Our afternoon ride was good too, and gave Koda & I another opportunity to work on getting his left lead. We finally did get it several times in a row. Nemo got the afternoon off, and Brad rode Cierra. She just keeps getting prettier under saddle. 

Cierra on a recent sunny day

At times we found ourselves just sitting in the middle of the arena, observing while our trainer coached her apprentice. She was working on lope offs too, but with a younger horse. Our trainer has such a wealth of knowledge, it's so interesting to listen and see her work with horse & riders.

As the day went on, a few challenges stood out:

• Horses really don't care for deep sand

• Getting a correct left lead is a work in progress

• Horses can strike out of no where

Wondering about the last one? Me too. It involved a horse that has never ever - ever - struck out at anything or anyone. A horse that you wouldn't expect to strike. That horse would be my Koda. If I had not seen him do it, I wouldn't believe it. Neither would anyone else that knows him.

Koda likes domestic animals. He always nuzzles and seems to enjoy them. But something unexplainable happened...and I have no idea where it came from. There is an adorable, lovable, well behaved dalmatian puppy at the barn named Happy. He has lived there for months, and Koda sees him every day. When Happy came running up to us, he dropped a small Jolly ball, and it rolled towards Koda crossing in front of his legs. It must have startled him, because Koda took one step forward and struck at Happy faster then the speed of light!! 

younger days

I had just finished tacking up and was standing right next to Koda's head. Thankfully Happy scooted back just as fast as Koda moved forward. It turned out not to be a close call, but could have had a different outcome. It was naughty! I was completely stunned. I am so glad the puppy didn't get hurt! Did Happy startle Koda? the ball scare him? I don't know. We briefly tried to figure it out. We rolled the ball towards Koda, and brought the puppy up by him, but got no reaction. Koda doesn't have a mean bone in his body, whatever happened is anybodies guess. I just hope it was an isolated incident. We didn't make a big deal out of it, and we moved onto better things.

Time goes so fast at the barn. Early evening had snuck up on us, and before we knew it we were done riding for the day. A prospective client was stopping out, so we quickly helped tidy things up. Sweeping the barns goes a lot faster when everyone pitches in. I worked up a sweat in no time. Note to self: if ever cold at the barn, start sweeping.

On the long ride home, hubby & I revisited the days revelations. Altho things didn't turn out as originally planned, we got to spend an entire day with our horses ~ always the best kind of day.


Dreaming said...

Seeing Koda strike out like that must have been scary, especially with the scenario you described.
I volunteer at a therapeutic riding center that has just added tons of fresh sand in the arena. The horses HATE it! (Well, we kinda aren't thrilled with trying to walk in it!) I watched a gal riding and every canter she asked for turned into a canter in the front and a trot behind. The horse just didn't want to move in the heavy going.

Shirley said...

I don't like walking in deep sand, don't blame the horse for not liking it either. Extra work!
You never know when something will startle a horse and they will defend themselves; it's why I always strive to do things in a safe manner, and never to put myself in a position of jeopardy. Even little things, like how I hold the leadrope bringing the horse in from pasture- which becomes Really Important when you are leading 4 at once!
Glad the puppy didn't get hurt, he sure is a cutey.

Sherry Sikstrom said...

glad the pup was not hurt, but a good reminder that the little guy needs to be kept back, horses see things differently I think and he may have been to startled to recognise him

Anonymous said...

Koda might view the pup as a young horse, and when he overstepped the boundaries he attempted to correct him as he would a young horse? Not a meanness thing, just a different way of disciplining youngsters?

C-ingspots said...

I don't like deep sand either, for riding in or walking in. It requires soooo much more effort to do anything. I'm pretty sure the horses feel the same way. So glad that adorable puppy got lucky! Whatever Koda's reason for lashing out was, you may never know, but in his mind, he had one. My horse Ladde strikes out at most small animals, but otherwise is a very gentle soul. I'm glad you enjoyed your ride day despite the rain. And thank you for your nice comment on my blog! :)

aurora said...

Okay, so nobody likes deep sand lol! I noticed on the following day Koda kept a watchful eye on Happy, and the puppy kept a safer distance. I'm hopeful.

lisa said...

I am glad the puppy wasn't hurt! But it sounds like you had a very productive day and still turned out to be a great riding day!

aurora said...

Thanks Lisa. So far no repeats. I've noticed the pup is more aware of his approach, which is a good thing.