Sunday, January 11, 2009

Winter Walkabout

Ye olde hitching post.

Jaz and former Mom Nita.

Check out my Wildman Rockstar's frizzy do.

Me n' Pokes.

Home safely.

It was a crisp, sunny Sunday, perfect for worshiping at the Heavenly Church of the Divine Walkabout. With temps in the upper 50s and not much wind to speak of, I could have done without the long underwear top under my long-sleeved T-shirt and fleece vest. It was gorgeous.

Jaz, of course, is always a good boy, and did not disappoint his other mother.

Poco started off the day by being snotty. I drove him away from Jaz and me because he kept wanting Jaz's pile of hay, regardless of which of the three piles Jaz tried to eat. He calmed down and was pretty mellow on the ride. We came across a couple areas in the shallow drainage ditches where there was lush grass from the last rain, and both horses were reluctant to stop eating and walk on, especially chow hound Pokey. We aren't heartless, and did let them graze several times. Lord knows there's nothing but nubs on our land, so this was a big treat for them.

I had two slightly hairy situations. We were on the way back, walking along the easement, and this particular section was deep, dry, warm sand. I knew it would feel nice on his feet, so we walked through it. Damned if I didn't feel him start to drop to roll. I caught him before he dropped and pulled his head up. I don't believe he was being intentionally naughty or was trying to ditch me. We were being kind of quiet and I'm sure that warm sand was calling his name. I think he just kinda spaced for a second that I was there. As soon as I pulled his head and told him 'no,' he was fine and kept walking. Can't take a nap on that one.

Second adrenaline rush came as we walked by the fence with the goofy Labs. We were already past it I heard the dogs heading towards us. Poco heard them, then caught sight of them out of the corner of his eye. I was just about to turn him around so he could get a good look at them when Jaz spooked behind us, which caused Poco to spook hard. I kept his head cranked around to slow his momentum (cuz he wanted outta there) and we'd no sooner handled that when he spooked again. I managed to stay on and and he calmed down in a matter of seconds. Once I got him to calm down, turn and look at the dogs, he was fine and we were on our way home without further incident.

This was only my second ride in my new saddle and I have work to do — holes to punch in billets and I want to try bringing my stirrups up a little. I was having a hard time keeping my feet in the stirrups today, for some reason. Hell, I had a hard time mounting without a block today. I've started back on a decent diet and am already feeling better and stronger, but I have a long way to go to get back into the kind of shape I like to be in.


Pony Girl said...

Lovely weather for a ride! I'm hoping for some of that next weekend.
I hate riding by dogs! In My Boy's neighborhood, many people have unruly dogs that charge and bark, some are not fenced (those ones worry me because I don't know them and I'm afraid they might attack or something!) My Boy is fairly desensitized to dogs, but still, it can often be a hairy situation, indeed!

jacksonsgrrl said...

It was a wonderful day yesterday wasn't it? Being a bit south of you we rode in just t-shirts! Ah, the old battle with stirrup length! Mine never seem quite right in my Aussie saddle, but I have been riding at a longer length than ever before--able to stretch out as I get in better shape. I was also trained in the English jumping fashion where your stirrups are run up shorter so it has been interesting to get out of that mind set. I always know if my stirrups are too short now because my feet will get numb and fall asleep! Agh!

ezra_pandora said...

That is great weather for you guys. Thankfully you were able to handle his spooking episodes. Dang dogs. Love your wildman's do!! I got a good dose of how out of shape I am. Went sledding with the kiddies yesterday since we got 10 inches of snow Friday/Saturday. I think I made it up the hill 4 times total and my chest was feeling it. lol

cdncowgirl said...

I'm looking forward to riding, but not looking forward to how my body will feel! After all its been about 2 months :(

We have one yard with a ton of small yappy dogs that we ride by. They used to be behind plain old chain link fence, and caused enough trouble then. Now they've added in that weave stuff to make the fence more "private". So all the horses hear are the dogs yapping and bouncing off the fence and all they see are these strange shadows flying around behind the fence.
Makes for some, umm... interesting moments.

Ice Pony Girl said... lucky duck to be able to ride.

Unknown said...

I used to think those moments in your rides kept things interesting - it's be boring if nothing happened right? Wrong it actually quite nice - but it does keep you on your toes. Keeps you alert and keeps your seat fresh - which is actually very good. So it all balances. I have fallen off a few times because I was too relaxed and not ready for things to happen.

Leah Fry said...

Steph, I think I was more worried about my new saddle when he started to go down to roll! I knew I could get off and wouldn't be hurt. But I was caught off guard with the spooks, which is, I guess, why they call them spooks, and I was lucky to have stayed on. I can tell you this, it wasn't pretty, although Nita said she was proud at how well I handled him.

Gail said...

Discovered you through C-ing Spots. Enjoyed your post. I too am a late life horse owner and a born horse lover.
This is not a threat, I will be back!

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Glad you had a good time. Good being successful with the stickie issues.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

You guys looked great out there. Funny Rockstar mane, too. lol!
I had to laugh and also commend you for catching Poco from rolling. Wow! Wouldn't that have been fun. gah!

Something similar happened to me and my horse as it did with you two and the dog spooks, just several months ago.

These dogs ran into the pasture beside us and got the two pastured horses inside all excited, which caused my friend's horse to spook and then my horse, who decided to bolt.
Thankfully my instincts kicked in and I did the one rein stop and turned her around and she was just fine. whew! What excitement, though. hehe!
I'm glad you all did great on your ride, though and noone was hurt and you had had fun ride.

Oh, and I know what you mean about the getting into shape thing. I worked really hard last year to get into shape and I even lost 27 pounds.
I still had problems mounting without a mounting block because I have hip dysplasia.
And now with this accident and my weak knee, I'm going to have to work even harder over the next year to gain back all the muscle that I've lost.
Gosh, it stinks to get older. :P

I wish you success with your exercise and diet program. :)


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