Saturday, January 29, 2011

A riding lesson in which no horse tried to kill me

A friend of ours gently teased me the other day for posting so often about near-death experiences on my horse blog, so I am happy to report that yesterday's lesson went off without a hitch.

Well, except for one teleportation to the side followed by a bolt (I'm getting better at sitting those!) and one lost stirrup at the canter.  But I didn't fall either time.

Panama was pretty fired up yesterday.  I got out there early and turned him out first with Lady for a short reunion, and then with Spaghetti.  He and Spaghetti alternately ran together and played bitey face for a good 45 minutes, and still weren't done when we had to interrupt them so that I could start tacking up for my lesson.

Despite the long playdate, Panama was still fired up for our lesson.  My trainer pulled a barrel down from where they rest on the rail in one corner, and set it down lengthwise to sit on.  Panama was convinced it was going to eat him, so we spent the first bit of the lesson working through that.  (The spook came when we were doing a lap around the arena, and he was so focused on the barrel that when we went by the gate, he wasn't paying attention to what was happening in the aisle, so the unexpected motion of a saddle blanket caught him off guard.)

Finally he started winding down, but I think it was more because he was running out of energy than for any other reason.  We spent the rest of the lesson working on our canter, and I could tell when he started getting tired, because his trot was uncharacteristically slow and he kept dropping out of the canter.  It's rare to see Panama tired, as he seems to have an almost bottomless source of energy.  Poor Panama — it's a lot of work being that scared of something, especially after a good run with your best buddy!



At February 3, 2011 at 9:57 PM, Anonymous Melody said...

It sound so funny - "he was convinced it was going to eat him" - but then, who knows what it looks like to a horse! It's like my brother in law order a pair of caiman boots from Tim's Boots, and they have a real caiman head on the toe, and my son is sure that they're alive!

I'm so glad you didn't fall this time!

At February 5, 2011 at 12:00 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Hi Melody! I always joke about Panama thinking something is going to eat him when he shies away from it. I told my trainer it's too bad he doesn't realize that if she is sitting on it, it must be safe, but alas they don't think that way. I think a horse's motto must be "Run first and figure out if it was really going to eat you later."


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