|The boys having a chat about how crazy I am.|
Yesterday I couldn't decide which horse to ride (they both needed to get out) or if I should go jogging before or after riding, or at all. I didn't have enough time to ride them both AND go jogging. So I hatched this plan...
I saddled Rhio up & headed over to Red's barn via the back woods trails, with Kelso in attendance. We popped out of woods and I had to dismount to open the gate, as the cows & calves are in new pasture along the fenceline of where I ride through. Conveniently, Rhio chose *after* I'd dismounted and we'd gotten through the gate (2 hot wires) to freak out about the baby calves running about. He's pretty ok with the cows, but those cute little buggers tearing around with their tails straight up were just a little bit of Arab overload. He snorted and stared, and I could see his heart pounding in his chest. But luckily he didn't try to bolt or to trample me, and we were able to hand walk along the fence to the barn. The calves were much more of a concern than Dave & the rattly tractor/disc that were plowing up the area alongside, which is funny because of course the machinery is much more likely to cause us harm than the calves are!
Once in the barn, I put Rhio in Red's stall, stop to admire the days' old new kittens in the shavings cart, and head out to fetch Red. I get him booted up for hoof protection on the road (Rhio was sporting his, too) and we head out cowboy-style for a little experiment.
I have ponied Red off Rhio before, just as a means to get him from his barn to mine, for example, and it has gone well in the past. I've never tried to pony for an outing before, though. Five o'clock in the evening probably wasn't the best time to choose, as the traffic was a bit more prevalent than I would have liked. Both boys behaved beautifully, however, even with a truck pulling a huge boat with flapping bits passing us none too slowly. We walked the entire shoulder of the paved road, then turned and walked along my road until we were past the house with the semi-aggressive dog who often tries to pester Kelso. She did, and I did my best low, growly "Get outta here!" - I surely didn't need the dog going after Kelso while I was trying to stay in control of two horses - and luckily she listened (she doesn't always). Past this house, we tried to trot and it went quite well. I did discover that I had way too much rope on Red - when we were trotting he'd stay right up next to Rhio and I couldn't figure out what to do with all the extra lead I had (looping across my lap? hanging down a bit on Rhio's side? coiled up in my hand?). Rhio tried to turn in at our driveway, but I was able to redirect him and keep going up the road.
With a few other distractions, we made it trotting about a half mile and then crossed the road onto the far part of our road. I wasn't sure how far we'd get, but I figured it was going well and so I'd keep going. We were walking up the first hill, as I'd discovered Red's enthusiasm for the endeavor was growing while Rhio's seemed to be waning; this led to Red being slightly in the lead, and then trying to cross over in front of Rhio, and that just seemed like a wreck waiting to happen. At the walk, Red would stay back just behind Rhio. Suddenly Red started tossing his head and acting strange, so I turn and see a bicycle coming up behind us. Really?!? Why this night would we see a bicycle? And coming up behind us? Well, both boys earned gold stars for bicycle bravery, standing still and watching the guy pedal past.
That seemed like a good turning-around point, so we head for home. Uh oh. Both boys decide they would really like to go home, FAST! I decide that we are most definitely NOT going home fast, and have my hands full containing two prancing ponies on the return journey. We did make it home, intact and sane, and I've decided a few things about ponying: 1) the road is probably not the best place to pony 2) I need a shorter rope and 3) unless I grow a third hand, there's no point in bringing my camera!
To finish off the night, I decide to drop Rhio off at home and jog Red back to his barn, thus accomplishing everything on my to-do list in one fell swoop (kind of). Red's actually quite good in-hand, and jogging with him certainly requires me to pick up my pace a little! I jogged home all by myself, Kelso having chosen to stay home when I left Rhio, and got home just in time to put on muck boots and feed the horses. Whew! I'm exhausted all over again just thinking about it.
|Our running shoes|