Thursday, June 24, 2010

Monsters in the cornfield

The cornfield is suspect.

He Who Walks Between The Rows may be watching, waiting, licking his lips in anticipation of sweet horse flesh.

The cornfield is especially worrisome when it just kind of pops up out of nowhere and changes the entire familiar scenery. It might even send a silly thoroughbred in to spasms of absolute terror.

Once again I was up with the sun and on my beast. This time, I had company. My youngest daughter cheerfully got up with me and was riding Chief bareback. He's such a gem and worth twice his weight in gold.

We did a few minutes of warm-up arena work and headed on out for a quick trail ride before I had to leave for work.

Down the driveway and into the woods we went, Gabe looking at everything, spooking at bunnies, ears flipping all over the place, mouth foaming like crazy, working that bit like a wad of Juicy Fruit and a whole lot of bouncy, bouncy Tigger-like action in his step. I swear he installed springs on his hooves over night.

Yesterday I mentioned to someone that Gabe has two personalities: He either is on his best behavior and takes care of me or he flips a switch and tries to kill me. You never really know what you're going to get. It's just goofy thoroughbred stuff, nothing malicious and actually, I enjoy the challenge he presents each and every day.

Today he was in kill me mode.

The last time I took him out along the driveway the corn was knee-high. We have corn fields along the driveway and corn fields across the road.

This time it was well over his head. The heat and the rain have done enormous favors for the corn!

He didn't like that ONE BIT. Wide-eyed and snorty, bouncy, bouncy, dancing sideways, wiggle-worming all around the place with every breeze that rustled the leaves and gave him peeks of the monsters lurking behind the rows.

Then he suddenly realized the scenery across the road had changed. He could no longer see for miles and miles across open, flat fields. It was a wall of waving, rustling, terrifying green.

He freaked out. Spin and run AWAY! Ok. You want to be a turd? Fine. Circle, circle, circle you big nutjob. I could feel him shaking beneath me and he grew from 16.2hh to about 18hh. Then, he refused to budge. Would NOT go forward towards the Great Wall of Corn and the menace lurking behind the rows. Would not turn. Just stood. And stared. And slobbered.

The ride ended up longer than I'd intended, but with persistence and patience, we slowly edged our way up to the corn: Two steps forward...four steps back, spin and snort. When we finally made it to the edge of the field I let him take a bite of a stalk and that eased his silly little mind. Typical over his mind through his stomach.

Thankfully Chief just stood staring at Gabe's antics like he'd lost his mind. Which he kinda had. I'm pretty sure I saw Chief sigh and shake his head a few times, an old geezer fed up with teenage behavior. Thank goodness Chief is as non-reactive and quiet as he is or poor Kayleigh would have either ended up in the dirt or been a little mad at me for making her ride less than enjoyable.

So, we have defeated the Cornfield Monster and the Gates To Hell. I wonder what's next on our "OH MY GOD!! INSTANT DEATH!" list of things to conquer? hehe!


  1. It was DIFFERENT and also horses are grassland creatures - their defense against predators is to be able to see a long ways - hence the long faces so the eyes can watch while the mouth eats. So cornfields when tall are a particular challenge - no visibility!

  2. Well, of course there are boogie men in the corn. Think of Stephen King and Children of the Corn, or the movie, Field of Dreams - those guys knew how to use bats! Your horse is very smart and was taking care of you! Well, at least that's his story ;-)
    Sounds like a wild ride. I'm impressed with your persistence. It will be interesting to see how he reacts the next time you go there!

  3. I have lived in Illinois within the corn fields.... I must agree with Gabe. I love Chief!

  4. Dixie and Gabe must never meet. They would scare themselves into a frenzy with horse stories of Evil Monsters their humans tried to feed them to.

    Kate - I agree with you about horses needing to open spaces to see predators. But I swear, Dixie also does poorly in really wide open spaces. I think it's because she can see too much.

  5. Heehee... that stephen king has a lot to answer for, maybe you should change his bedtime reading ;)
    havn't been by in a while, nice new layout! x