A pair of deer tried to murder me.
And Gabe was absolutely convinced they would succeed in killing both of us.
Have you ever heard deer running through a cornfield? They are LOUD and scary. Especially if you're a horse who is convinced the world would like to roast you on a skewer.
He was being fabulous during our ride (yay! I'm able to ride again! My heart is happy.), quiet and responsive and just GOOD. I think he was having fun and I was actually succeeding at keeping him busy enough to keep his brain working and engaged.
Then, during our cool-down on the buckle, I heard it. Something was crashing through the cornfield right next to the arena. I felt him tense. And beneath my leg I could actually feel his heart pick up and really start pounding hard. I grabbed mane (thank goodness I haven't pulled it yet, there's a LOT there) and prepared for the worst because I knew he was going to explode and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it while the crashing in the cornfield was going on.
Chief and Calypso didn't help matters much, either. They both heard it, and being free, decided to go ape-shit bananas in the paddock next to us.
I've never actually ridden a tornado, but I'm pretty sure what Gabe offered up for me to stick to last night came pretty close. No bucking, just spinning and darting, a little bit of rearing when I refused to let him run away quickly, and quite a bit of sideways scurrying, neck arching and snorting.
It only last a few seconds, maybe even a whole minute, but it felt like forever.
The deer finally finished their mad scramble through the corn and ended up coming out not too far from where we were riding. I don't think Gabe spotted them, if he had, he may have wet himself a little bit. I saw them though before they tore off up along the edge of the field away from us. Two of 'em, looked like a doe and an older fawn.
But what impressed me the most was how quickly he quieted after the cornfield crashing stopped. He didn't dump me and it was over as soon as it began. Four trips around the arena on a loose rein then out to hit the driveway and a few trails as a final cool down. He was good, looking at everything but not reacting, walking nicely and not prancing or snorting. His back felt soft and swaying and he dropped his neck, sighed deeply and marched forward.