Friday, April 9, 2010

Where have all the cowboys gone? Or...why isn't this mare working more often?!

I really wanted to ride Thursday night but wasn't up to dealing with Gabe's usual antics.

You know how sometimes you just want to go along for the ride, not have to work for the ride? That's the kind of mood I was in. I didn't feel like working for the ride, I simply wanted to go out and plug along and enjoy some quiet time in the woods all by myself, just me and the horse. No muss, no fuss. No antics.

So, I hauled Calypso out of the pasture, knocked off the mud (and a considerable amount of hair!) and took her out, imagining a nice, relaxed amble through the woods to enjoy the birds, the golden sunset and inhaling the scents of freshly blooming spring flowers.

But I totally forgot she hasn't been ridden since the beginning of November, and hadn't been ridden a whole lot before that, either. I would guess she got MAYBE ten rides all last year, and that's being generous. It was almost like she forgot everything she's learned! She was a head-in-the-air giraffe horse, taking quick little short, mincing trot steps (on a trot that is already like sitting on a pogo stick) and iffy on the halts and steering.

It's the short-backed, steep-shouldered, steep-pasterned, toed-in little quarter horses with the jaw-jarring trots that remind me why I love my long-legged, slope-shouldered, smooth-striding Thoroughbred so very much. It's shocks vs no-shocks on a rough brick road.

The neighbor's peacocks freaked her out a bit. She did not like that colorful fan-tail heading towards her AT ALL and let me know in no uncertain terms that she didn't trust the horse-eating peafowl and would leave the vicinity if provoked at all. Unlike Gabe's fast, sideways "I'm outta here!" spooks, Calypso's cutting horse blood kicks in and she drops her entire body about 6", rocks back on her hocks and tenses her entire body, ready to flee out from under me if needed. Despite her craptacular trot, that mare can spin on a dime and teleport sideways when she feels like it.

A relaxed ride it was not. I did not enjoy the birds. I did not smell the flowers. I cursed the setting sun for being behind the peacocks to make them more frightening.

But I got her to relax and drop that head a bit. The trot became a bit less bone-jarring by the time I headed for home. I worked on starting the tune-up process to remind her that her job in this life is to just amble along, not act like a child hopped up on Twinkies and cake. That's her only job. She doesn't have to know anything more than go, turn and stop. Oh, sure, I've thrown a couple other things on her just for shits and grins, she can spin (albeit a slow, easy one, but a spin it is!), sidepass, leg yield, turn on the haunches, shoulder in and neck rein, but she doesn't NEED to know all that.

She just needs to be a safe, quiet trail horse who won't give peacocks a passing glance. Guess I need to get my butt in gear and remind her of her job before my husband puts his butt back in the saddle this summer.


  1. -just get some calves and let her work her spins and turns. I'll send Robert a lariet.... yeehaw cowboy.

  2. HILLARIOUS!!!! Loved reading this today for I surely needed a good laugh. Thank you!! :)

    "did not smell the flowers, did not enjoy the birds and cursed the setting sun" Classic good humor!!!

    I can totally relate my friend!!


  3. HAHA!! Oops...yea, she was not relaxing...I felt all of that!(from here)

    We are on the same wave lengths !!
    I too wanted a non thinking ride, for my ride today. SO I rode Danny boy..more whoa than go..he was very good...but very out of shape..though...even when he is..he acts like he ins't..think it is the whoa in him.
    Oh...he can spin too...if we saw something like you did...but I can talk him outa almost anything...if I put the dressage whip next to his face...he acts like it is a wall or for me!

    Do think your behind on her more, before the hubby---good idea!

  4. My kid's horses used to be the "go to" horses. Now that they ride so infrequently, the "go tos" go nowhere & have quite a taste of barn sour in their mouthes. Where are all the horse crazy girls who want to ride! I would welcome them about now! As it turns out, my horse has become my "go to" horse. (And I love it!)

    The pictures in your prior post are gorgeous. Love the 2nd one especially.