Monday, June 23, 2008

My horse was the calm one!

I went for two trail rides over the past few days. The first one was on Saturday with a horse and owner Panama and I haven't gone with before: his girlfriend, Texas, and her owner, Dani.

Dani is 9 years younger than me and so I've been hesitant to go on the trail with her before — not because I think it's beneath me or anything, but because I'm not that experienced and I like to go with someone who is. Dani might know more than me about horseback riding, but she's still a flighty teenaged girl, and I don't know how she'd react if there were an accident like this one.

Dani is also rather... peppy. She's always squealing at the horses and stuff like that. Panama is usually a bit startled and bewildered by her behavior, and I was worried about him spooking when she did something sudden like that.

As it turned out, I needn't have worried: Panama was the calm horse on our trail ride. Texas was very jumpy, and although she startled him a couple of times, he took it all in stride. Dani had more problems with Tex than I had with Panama!

The first major thing that happened was that Texas spooked about going over the first bridge on the bike path. (We usually take the bridge because I don't want Panama to try jumping this part of the creek, which is a narrow cement chute lined with stones. I'm not ready to jump yet!) Texas wouldn't cross the iron strip that marked the edge of the bridge. Dani eventually got her to but it took a while of kicking Texas in the belly with her spurs (poor Tex). Panama balked a little bit, because he had seen Texas do it, but went across with far less trouble than Texas gave Dani.

At the next bridge we encountered, Texas balked again, so I walked Panama ahead. He did fine until we got to the edge of the bridge, where there was another of those iron strips across the path. By then, Texas had recovered, so she and Dani led Panama and I across the remaining three feet.

Texas also jumped when she saw Panama's green-painted manhole cover. She did what Panama did the first time he noticed it: slammed on the brakes and cat-jumped at the same time, staring at it. She recovered pretty quickly though, and Dani was able to actually walk her over it a few moments later. Panama watched carefully as she did, but still wouldn't get any closer to it himself.

Instead of taking the last bridge on the way back, we crossed the creek. Panama did really well with that too.

It was a fairly short ride, but it was a lot of fun. I think it's good for Panama to go with someone else for a change, and of course I'm proud of how rock-solid he was with Texas jumping all around!



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