Thursday, November 11, 2010

lyin' to the races

Yesterday my mom and I headed out for a gorgeous November ride on Pie and Sovey. Our temperatures have been in the 30's overnight, but warm up to the 50's by noon. The boys are a fuzzy black color (the photo above is from October) and love the cooler temperatures. It was so pretty around the farm with the yellow leaves and mellow sunshine. This was my mother's third ride since her fall in July. Unfortunately, we both almost fell off yesterday!
Our near catastrophe was probably due to my lack of riding for a few days. Maizie had off school on Monday so Brian and I took her hiking. On Tuesday, I took a day trip to Virginia with a girlfriend to buy benches for our farm. Both days were fun, but horse-less. Pie was feeling festive and fiesty because of this break in our routine. Mom and I started out in the pastures to make sure we were safe. Pie was indignant about riding inside the pastures and he was not listening to me. As soon as we got on the trails in the woods, though, he calmed down and acted like a good boy. He, like all horses, feels confident in his routine, and any changes to it, upsets his apple cart. The woods were amazing in color. The angle of the sun just makes everything golden. Sovereign is the best boy, riding behind Pie most of the way, and occasionally leads when Pie is unsure of something. We made our way around the trails and out to the field. I was so happy that my mom was having a good, safe ride. As we headed back to the barn we had to walk by a line of high trees. A flock of birds flew out of the trees and Pie bolted out from under me and Sovey did the same to mom. I saw her flying to my right and I said "Hang on!" I realized that Pie was still skittering around and I really needed to concentrate on getting him back together first, and then worry about her. Neither of us fell off, but it was only because we got lucky! Our reins were flying and we were both caught behind the motion. As we finished the ride, we talked about what is going on now. When the horses first came to us, and for about a year after that, Sovey was not really bonded to Pie. They lived together, but Sovereign never put much credence into Pie's reactions. Pie would buck, bolt, shy, wiggle, fold-up, and half-rear with me on him and Sovereign, with my mom on him, would spoil her by not reacting at all. I know I had remarked about this in an earlier post. It was uncanny, because usually horses do what the other guy is doing. Not Sovey. I don't think he actually trusted Pie back then. Now, though, they are bonded. Sovey does pretty much whatever Pie does, albeit with less fervor than the baby Pie-Pie. When Pie shies now, Sovey shies. I can ride Sovereign out alone and he hardly does anything. But, together with Pie, he reacts like a normal horse now. I have to be more consistent about riding Pie every other day if I want anyone else to join me on rides!

7 comments:

  1. This was very informative! I like your observation about the change in Sovey. Also I see birds got your horses going, too. It's such a wonderful time of year with no flies annoying the horses. They must feel great.

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  2. Glad it worked out OK! That's interesting on now they're more bonded now.

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  3. Oh dear! That is enough to shoot some adrenaline into your system, stat!! Glad to hear you both hung on! I bet Pie and Sovey learned something after that! That's the thing with riding--you never know when something might come tumbling out of nowhere and cause a flurry! Plus, this Autumn for me has been more dicey than the last! I'll have to remember next year that this year I had quite a dancy brumby under me! But don't you feel great that you did NOT fall!? That's worth celebrating! I send you and your mum some cyber mulled cider (with a shot of....?) I always love an adventure story! XO

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  4. OOOUUU!!
    Wow, very close for you two!
    So happy,glad and thrilled that ended with your bottom ends..still on the saddles!

    I have been reading over and over...riht now, this Autumn how the horses around the country are a bit full of it. Weather changes have to count for some...all I know is the ROUTINE can mean everything to me and the mare...I KNOW when and if -something has happended- in my absence from the stable...even one day, should there have been a breech in rountine!

    Right now...something has happened...my ultra clam mare, that moved in and has been there for 2 months..is a freaking, nutty, fruit loop!
    I was going to Start in the arena this week...to find her having a season(weirdo timing on that?) there is NO working her with that going on, unless,I wish to perfect the flying dismount!

    Anywho...I'm so rabbling on... You two are in one peice and I think you satill may have a riding partner too!

    What is funny Juliette...even though I ride to relax and find it wonderful to have the mare relaxed--THAT--is when it strikes..the spooking. Right when you let the contact go and the leg is not on...it is almost like they feel alone and must make desicions for themselves.
    WHAT do you think about that ?
    me ~ Kacy

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  5. CALM mare...she is not a clam...I swear!

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  6. Kacy!!! You are so funny - Wa is not a clam!!! And, apparently she is not calm either right now. Are they feeding her something different there? How about turnout time - is it less than at your other place?
    And, about the relaxing and gripping problem - relax and spook - grip and spook - what to do? I think it is just like good hands on a horse. Good hands move forward and back ever so slightly. Contact, quiet, less contact, quiet, more contact (grab mane) less contact, etc. It is the same with my legs. Slightly grip, relax, tighten my calf, relax, swing my leg down, contract and push my heel down, then relax. It is a dance, for sure, but it works - at least if you are holding on at the exact right time!!! lol! :)

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  7. Juliette, so glad that you and your mom both stayed on the horses! It is true that one minute can be quiet and calm, and the next, a spook occurs! Adrenaline up, then breathe, breathe, and adrenaline down, and maybe, shaky legs. LOL! Perhaps the horses forget the changes in the environment as well, that in fall, all the birds take off at the same time! It keeps us on our toes, though, which is probably a good thing. You have such sweet horses.

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