I took Calypso "around the block" last night. Around the block in my neighborhood is just about a four mile trip. We walked, mostly. We did some standing and staring a bit too. By the time we returned home she was huffing and sweating.
Poor, fat, out-of-shape mare. Need to work on that.
She's always been pretty good going out by herself, a little squirrely sometimes but for the most part, very good. When she does get silly or spooky she doesn't worry me as much as Gabe does simply because she is spooky in a different way. While Gabe spins and tries to run away very fast from the scary thing, Calypso stands, stares, her eyes bug out of her head and she absolutely refuses to move forward. Which is much easier to deal with than a spinning, freaking out 16+ hh Thoroughbred!
Sometimes it's a hidden propane tank that gets her bugged-eyed. Other times it's just a piece of trash blowing in the wind.
Last night it was cows. And a Gator. At the same time. Oh, my!
To get where we were going we needed to walk between a pasture full of very curious dairy cattle and a Gator sitting on the road, idling. On the other side of the road near the Gator is a Big Scary Hole that has water falling into it. Calypso was pretty sure there were giant, slimy serpents in it waiting for her to become a tasty meal. Scary stuff on it's own, but add in the fact that the cattle had JUST been milked and were feeling their oats and being particularly curious about us and it's a horsey nightmare.
Visualize, if you will, a herd of black-and-white, full-grown cattle, running full bore straight towards you. Some of them were bucking, which I find hilarious. Dairy cattle are not athletic enough to perform a good PBR buck.
Calypso didn't find it nearly as hilarious as I did. So she stood, bugged eyed and trying to move as stealthily sideways as possible while avoiding the Gator and the Big Scary Hole With Slimy Serpents. As if moving slowly would take the attention off her and she could sneak away from the whole dang mess.
With some time, patience and much reassurance from me she finally decided it was safe enough to brave the cattle and the Gator and the Big Scary Hole With Slimy Serpents all at the same time and she was marvelous. The rest of the ride was pretty Speedy Gonzales-like as she was rushy-rushy being by herself, but I let her take the pace she felt like taking as long as she didn't break into a trot or suddenly refuse to go forward. It's been quite a while since she's been out on a long ride by herself and I decided just letting her figure out she wouldn't die while alone was good enough for this ride. About 3/4 of a mile of our ride is along a two-lane 55 mph road. Usually there isn't much traffic along that road and last night was no different. The trucks that did blow by us were pretty loud and she didn't flinch a single muscle or even twitch an ear, just kept Speedy Gonzales-ing it right along.
Such a good mare, but I definitely need to get her out on her own more often. She's quiet, but she needs to be dead quiet and damn near bomb-proof. And I need to get her more fit. Poor, fat mare. Bad owner to let her get fat!