Friday, February 14, 2014

love him, love him not

I had an unexpected day off, trails are dry, let's head out! I knew Major would be a little full of it since it had been two weeks since a real ride, but you have to get out sometime.

The lake trail's sandy footing beckoned, and Major was joined by our friend Friday for a jaunt. The sky is gray, but no rain, and it's humid and warm, more weird winter weather. Everything was actually going ok, trotting merrily along, if you don't count Major being a twit pulling like a freight train and Friday was beginning to think he should follow suit.

It's all fun and games till the helicopter arrives.

Yes, a helicopter. On the trail. Doing maneuvers. At first it just flew by, pretty low over the lake, we just kept the horses walking no big deal.

Then we could hear the rotors behind us, and saw the helicopter blades just over the edge of a rise. Now it was time to get off.

The horses weren't actually reacting, but we couldn't tell what the helicopter was doing! Was it going to come over the hill right next to us, flying low? I'd love to desensitize to a helicopter, but you need slightly more controlled circumstances! I did really want to take a photo as it flew so close, but restrained myself. Instead I took a photo when it was a little spot far away, just to be safe!

So we stood for a bit, waiting to see where the helicopter was going. I was able to read the markings clearly when it flew by, it was a CDF (Cal Fire, in charge of wildland fires in the state) practicing water pickups. So plumes of water were falling from the rising helicopter, then they'd go back around to a slightly different spot and practice again. Super glad they practice this stuff, great organization, but we decided to head back into the forest and skip any more lake trail today.

Major was convinced we were going home, so we didn't. We wandered the forest, turning the direction NOT towards home, letting Friday lead, and other horse-frustrating experiences. At one point we turned off a trail onto larger road and Major thought it would be a good idea to just try taking off.

Which is why I ride pretty defensively. Not even a full stride before I got that silliness under control. We need a ride of many, many miles, but I actually don't want to condition much right now. I've looked over the AERC calendar and am probably not doing a ride till end of April, and then starting with an LD 25 for the beginning of the season.

So Major and I have some time to work on behavior. "Love him not" when he's an idiot and we're fighting. "Love him" when he is so good and we have so much fun. But I do of course still love him even when naughty. He got a Valentine's carrot and all I got was covered in horse sweat, snot and shedding fur. Just another dysfunctional relationship.


  1. It's highly functional, it's just a little abusive ;) HVD, yall!

  2. But he always looks so sweet in your photos!

    1. Oh he's very sweet. I think he's like a sweet tart candy, just enough kick to be more interesting than sugar! 8-)

  3. Helicopters on trail!!! Now that's something I haven't seen...