Extreme trail riding

So, if you have paid even the tiniest bit of attention to previous posts – you are familiar with NitWhit. NitWhit has been a very good boy lately – up until 5:30 this afternoon. He has been much more willing to work and just in general much more willing and cheerful to work. We had one slight bucking fit Friday night when a noise startled him and other wise worked great that night and the next morning.  I pulled him out of his stall at six am on Saturday to ride in some crazy wind, so I really appreciated the continuance of his improved attitude. Since we have a lesson with my riding instructor tomorrow, I thought a nice trail ride would be a great idea. Flynn and Rio’s owners came over to do some conditioning work with the eventing bound ponies and the second ride was just going to be a lackadaisical walk through the woods. I convinced my mother to come along with the promise of “we will just walk” – I am not certain how many more times she is going to fall for that. The eleven year old rider took Liberty, a squat Belgian mare, out bareback and her mother traded in the red thoroughbred mare (who is completely deserving of her own angst ridden blog) for Tasman.

Most of the ride was quiet and relaxing. We crossed back over the creek and there is a steep short uphill we call “the slide”. Normally the horses just walk or lunge up it and its a lot of fun. Tas saw it and bounded up oozing enthusiasm and Morgan cuteness. Whitman got excited, bolted at it from three strides out, launched up the incline and somehow found the strength to rodeo buck while doing it. I now know how the pinball feels in the pinball machine as I was being bounced around through the tree branches. A branch hit my nose, teeth, lip and left shoulder. It may have all been the same branch, but to be honest, it was happening so quickly that I can’t really sort out the details.

Liberty bolted, or the draft version of a bolt – which is a fast trot set that should be set to tympani drums. Tas’ rider was a bit uncertain as how to proceed. She turned around able to hear me swearing the air blue and seeing her daughter crest the hill on a Belgian on a mission. While deciding how to proceed, Whitman and I exploded out of the woods in a profanity laced pile of leaves and fruit tree flowers in front of Liberty. When it all settled, the three horses were standing facing each other from three separate directions and we were looking for my mother and Webster. Web had managed to restrain himself to some trotting and melodramatic head-shaking but had not decided to bolt after the group – very out of character for him. I spit out a few mouthful of flower petals and choice words and we continued on our merry way home.

I have two lovely abrasions on my nose. However, I have a feeling that by tomorrow they are just going to look like zits. No glory there.

Don’t chew on the electric fence

This is valid advice on a farm. We had friends over the other night. The mothers were getting to ride and the fathers were going to grill and watch the children. Sounded like a perfect division of labor to me. The ride was very nice. The other mother entertained us by having her stirrup come undone while mounting Ries. The resulting loss of balance was entertaining enough, but nothing in comparison to the look on her face. However, that was the most remarkable part of the trail ride, which in my opinion, means that it was a successful trail ride (more on that with the next post)

So after we rode, we were putting horses away and tidying up. Their daughter cheerfully ran up and grabbed hold of the electric fence. I could not quite find the appropriate nouns quickly enough so shouted out with a “hey, that fence that your kid is chewing on – its electric”. Evidently that section was not because while the toddler had both fists on the wire and was happily chewing on the electrobraid without twitching or screaming. Dad made a fast dive to grab her and her mother made some pretty good time out of the barn.