Friday, November 14, 2008

Here's the third injury, now let's knock it off ok??

For the superstitious among us, I am officially calling today's incident the third injury. Brego jacked up his leg last week, then Raven impaled her leg yesterday, and now one of my crew has been injured as well. No more animals need to get hurt for a while, ok?

(How's that for a dramatic lead-in? You like that? Read on for the entire goofy story.)

I have issues being consistent and training the same thing over and over again. My excuse is that I'm not trying to get my horses to memorize things, but rather trust me and respond to my cues. So I got on and off of Dixie twice - one in the ring, then back on outside the ring, then we rode ALLLLL the way to the gate to the trails. Remember how I said there's the horses' field, then another wooded paddock with trails, then the real forest trails? I dismounted at the gate to the paddock and led Dixie through. She was spazzing. Totally ready to bolt flipping her lid at being so so very far away from the herd. (We're talking maybe 200 yards, by the way.) But I had a plan.

Food is a huge reward for horses. There's plenty of green grass in that paddock. I led Dixie around and let her graze for probably 20 minutes. Didn't try to get on her. I wanted to stay in her comfort zone, at her head. The neighbor's rat terrier would not stop barking but the little bastard stayed on his side of the fence so I couldn't let Dixie squash him. We walked the shortest loop, went back near the gate and grazed, walked away from the gate and grazed, etc. She didn't noticeably calm down, but she was very happy to eat nice fresh green bermuda and baby elm trees and stuff. She forgot where I was at one point and almost spun into me, but I elbowed her butt and she remembered me and led perfectly from then on out.

When I got bored, I led her back to the truck, untacked her, and started hollering for Champ.

Champ's willingness to come when called has skyrocketed since I started feeding them sweet feed. How about that. Anyway, he came dashing right up and I gave him a nibble of feed while I got him tacked up. We still had plenty of light and Cersei needed a good run.

We rode for about an hour. I took a lot of pictures; I'll post the good ones later tonight. On the way back, the injury occurred.

We were trotting briskly down a huuuuuge grassy trail in the paddock, headed for the gate. The damn trail's easily 20 feet wide at that point. I was thinking mostly about my legs and keeping the impulsion up and paying very little attention to steering my horse or watching my dog. Cersei cut in front of us about 20 feet away, but she does this all the time and it didn't even register.

Then, in slow motion, I watched her snort at the grass and start to flop down on her shoulder to roll. Right in front of us. I had just enough time to think this:

Surely she's not gonna roll.
She starts rolling.
Surely Champ is going to jig left or right?
Champ trots straight for the completely oblivious dog.
SHIT SHIT SHIT surely he won't STEP on her?!?!
Dog disappears from my sight, there's a thud and a lot of squalling, and I look back.

Cersei leapt to her feet with the most "oh god what happened I'm so sorry!" look on her and came galloping up to us. I burst out laughing (because she's obviously not dead or seriously injured), lose my form, and fall forward onto Champ's neck with a serious case of the giggles. Champ stopped and pretended he had no idea what was going on while I tried to compose myself.

Anyway, Cersei limped a little right after the squashing. By the time we got back to the truck and got ready to leave, she'd shaken it off. I'm pretty sure she's going to be super sore tomorrow though! I am officially proclaiming Cersei as the third injury. No one else is allowed to have gaping wounds, colic, cats coughing up hairballs on your pillow, or gimpy dogs for a period of one month.

I cannot help but wonder if Champ stepped on Cersei as payback for Cersei running into Champ's head the other day. I wouldn't put it past that horse. "You forget where I am when you're running around? Well I'll just forget where you are too!"

1 comment:

  1. Holy Martha that would have scared me to death! I am glad she is okay


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