Monday, December 12, 2011

Afternoon delight

Ruffy ready to go
After a few days of blustery cold weather, the temperature rose a bit this afternoon. I hurried home from work (as usual on my short Mondays), jumped into riding togs and zoomed out to the barn. John already had Harley cleaned up, waiting in the cross ties for tack.

Another local equestrienne, home from college for the winter break, stopped by the barn. John asked her to join us for a little ride. She happily got on board Rolex Girl.

Harley was in a fidgety mood, pacing in circles, ready to go, until I put him out front. Then he got all cautious on me--ears up, looking around, anticipating those scary goats up the road. I really had to ride him hard to keep him stepping out. Once in the woods, he relaxed somewhat, but he still cocked an ear at stumps and rocks that haven't moved--ever. Once Ruffy passed him, he willingly gave up the lead, his head came down, his ears flopped out, as if to say, "Whew, I'm off the hook. Now she can keep an eye out for scary things."

Rebecca on Rolex
Meanwhile, Roley  happily walked along, not a care in the world, willing to go last at an even walk. It's hard to believe she ran her last race only a month ago and is only 4 years old. She willingly goes through the muck now, and thinks about where she's putting her feet.  Her unflappable nature puts Harley to shame. He, on the other hand, wants to be second, not first, and certainly not third--then he has to worry about what might be coming up behind him.

We rode over to the Nature Trails, amidst the lawn furniture (which Roley had to investigate, and Harley swerved around), televisions, stereo speakers, and other detritus. It's a good place for desensitizing horses to unfamiliar items in unusual locales.

Once we turned around, Ruffy and Harley began to strut their stuff. Ruffy pranced and Harley started grinding his teeth, prancing sideways, acting more like a juvenile than the girls! And of course, when I held him back, he began cantering sideways. I think he really wanted to let off some steam today! Roley stepped over the stone wall, but after Ruffy jumped it, Harley decided to do the same--something he's never done over the thousands of times we've crossed it. He gave quite a bounce--a Hail Mary jump for me. His grand finale move was spooking at the goats which were not even out of the barn, but he knew they were there--just watching! What a silly guy. I just laugh at his antics when he's like this. Maybe on Saturday, we'll go for a longer trek that includes some nice cantering to burn off some energy.

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