Wednesday, August 24, 2011

conversations with Major

This is my "I don't think I want to" face
Major was reluctant to head out, dragging himself up the road behind me. We had many good conversations today:

"I can't possibly go out today." Major thinks.
"Why not? We're going" I insist and continue up the road.
"Umm, because it's hot"
"Not that hot."
"Umm, I think I'm tired."
"Nope, yesterday you ran around just fine."
"Umm, you forgot my boots."
"No, you don't need then all the time."

Happy ears now as we enter the forest. Striding out quickly, suddenly Major snorts and stops, head high. I ask him to move forward, he refuses. He never balks like this. I urge him forward again, he is wide-eyed and stops again. I ask for a few steps, and get halting, nervous, actual fear. Finally we get about 100 feet from where this all started, and trot on.

"I read on the bulletin board about the bears," Major mentions.
"No you didn't, you can't read."
"Umm, maybe someone told me."
"I don't think so. Let's go."

Now that we're traveling, Major is happy. I am second-guessing not putting on his boots (he is getting a trim tomorrow and I was hoping to not adjust the boots) and maybe he isn't striding out as much. Or maybe it's just me. The trail is very rocky, but he is handling it just fine.

calm pond...for now
I was going to stop at the lookout, but thought going to the pond would add a little more distance and be a nice stop. Major waded right in, though the pond is a little scummy. We stood for awhile, just relaxing. There is a water inlet that I was keeping an eye on, as water can suddenly come gushing out. I heard a slight noise, gathered my reins, and suddenly Major was bolting out of the pond, I'm trying to stop him, and then trying to stay on! It all went so fast, I was falling, but somehow landed on my feet, reins in hand, looking at Major's face.

"That alien baby head thing came outta nowhere! I think I heard about this in Cowboys & Aliens!"

"I didn't spook him, did I?" asked the helmeted bike rider who had come from behind the bushes, charging down the hill (not a bike trail.) I couldn't quite talk, adrenaline coursing through me. He bike guy asked again. I just answered "Yes," and checked over Major. What did the guy think? That I always just run my horse out of a pond and then fall off? Was I trying out for a stuntman part in the new Lone Ranger movie?

Major was fine, though jumpy for a few minutes, waiting for more aliens. But we were heading home, so the worry was quickly (very quickly!) left behind. We passed a couple trails for home, but took the rock trail for a longer loop. My concerns about not booting were unfounded, he moved out as usual, big trot home. We saw one other horse close to home, and took the same spooky trail. Not scary this time.

Major says, "Of course not, it's safe now. It would have eaten the other guy already. Duh."

A few slightly ugly apples made the bath acceptable, and I walked him up the hill to his paddock. I opened the gate and he trotted over to his dinner.

"Oh yum, I love this stuff! Every day the same thing, and still it's delicious!"

As much as we teach, we can always learn from our horses.


  1. Love it, I am always having conversations with my horse in one form or another. I am incredibly amused by the fact that my gelding who handles everything so well (now including introduction to riding on the beach next to crashing waves as of yesterday) stops and snorts and gets crazy eyes when he sees baby goats. Adults are fine, but baby goats are absolutely unacceptable. As for the biker...well...insert eye roll here..bikers can be so incredibly dense. I was riding at Lake Oroville with a friend and a biker came flying around a corner staring at the ground, continued pedaling at us, didn't even look up and see us until my friend's horse did a 360, sending her flying.. and then stopped his bike and said "huh, guess your horse is pretty spooky!"
    I finished my post about the race and added photos, if you hadn't check it out again yet :)

  2. We've never experienced baby goats, baby pigs were pretty scary. I was so annoyed at the biker (and like your friend's situation) my horse isn't very spooky, but the biker just created a super spooky situation!