Coughs, Farts and a Bear
I experienced a fun and exciting trail ride with Teddy this week. An equestrian mom friend and I organized a trail ride at my barn. (Her horse's name is Freddy and she actually almost bought my horse when he was for sale). So we set off with Teddy and Freddy.
There have been sightings of bears on the property and surrounding trails. I knew the day would come that I would meet a bear on the trail and was a little nervous about how my horses would react. My barefoot trimmer told me bears are terrified of horses so that eased my anxiety a little bit.
We started on our trail ride late in the morning, it was already a very hot and dusty day. Teddy and I took the lead because we know the trails in the area. Most of the trails are flat but there are some little hills here and there. After about half an hour of riding we climbed an up hill section of the trail. Teddy started coughing from the dust on the incline. And when Teddy coughs, he farts. Poor Freddy got blasted in the face behind us! His forelock was parted and pushed to either side of his face. Luckily he didn't spook from the sudden blast of noise and air. We had a really good laugh about that and continued on our trail ride.
Soon we came to another uphill section of the trail. Teddy of course starts coughing and farting. This time Freddy was a little further back as he learned to keep his distance. Then I hear a rustling in the bushes and a bear goes running out on the trail in front of us then jumps off the trail and down the mountain side. I was surprised by how fast and agile she was. I was also relieved that she choose flight instead of fight. Thankfully Teddy's farts were a loud warning that we were coming. And that was my first close encounter with a bear.
When the lunge line snaps!
The joys of working with a young horse are that you are guaranteed a learning experience and an adventure...
Yesterday I let Teddy out to stretch his legs and eat grass on the ally between the paddocks of the other horses. Then I led Toby to the arena to lunge him. While we were lunging, Teddy started squealing with the other horses. The squeals were becoming louder and louder and started to get distracting for both Toby and I. Toby got more and more excited and started running numerous canter circles. This was fine by me as he needed the exercise.
But the next thing I knew, Toby was running free! The lunge line snapped! It just severed completely. Toby B-lined it to the corner of the arena because that was the most direct route to Teddy (if there was no fencing in the way). I ran to the open gate of the arena and luckily beat Toby to it. Toby ran around the edges of arena looking for a way out. He quickly realized there was no way out so came to me at the gate, not knowing what to do with himself.
Can you see the severed lunge line attached to the halter? So perhaps I will not buy used lunge lines in the future. And I will always remember to close the gate when lunging in the arena!
Working with Toby
Yesterday I had a really fun ride on Toby. But first let me tell you about the day before.
My husband and I went on a trail ride. Toby (Welsh chestnut cross) likes to be in the lead and Teddy (Clyde/Paint cross) likes to be the caboose, so it works very well. However, my husband, who was riding Teddy, was tired of looking at Toby's butt. So he started to trot ahead of us. Toby was taking it pretty well so I asked him to trot. The next thing I know he starts bucking and/or crow hopping. My husband heard me "Whoa, whoa, whoa!" By the time he turned around to see what was happening, Toby settled down and needless to say, we walked for the rest of the trail ride. And yes, I managed to stay on!
Yesterday I didn't know what kind of mood Toby was going to be in. He was a little "looky" because there was a clinic happening at the barn with a lot of new people and horses coming and going. I tacked him up and took him to the indoor arena. And he was a very good boy! He really does well in the indoor due to elimination of potential distractions. We worked on leg yielding, collection and a few canter circles.
I have been a Professional Animal Communicator since January 2016. I have been an animal lover and admirer for a very, very long time.