Monday, June 15, 2009

Just when you think they're trained

Just when you think you know your horse well, say after 20 years of riding together, she goes and proves you can't be complacent.

I've been meaning to get long reins for my trail bridle for some time. Trails around here are just wide enough for walking single file whether on or off your horse. Sometimes you have to get down and lead them over or around obstacles, and even occasionally send them ahead of you. Long reins would be super useful then. However, I didn't really like how heavy they would be on Ketah's mouth.

Well, Ketah forced the issue yesterday. I took her and Sati out for a short trail ride. Ketah kind of hates this because Sati is a poke. Or, more accurately she's very very careful about where she steps while Ketah likes to rush everything. I much prefer the careful walking, but Ketah is Ketah and I've only managed to slow her down a bit (and she's 23 years old, I take small victories). So Ketah was rushing and I figured I could let Sati follow us. She's done it before. I tied her rope around her neck and let her go. But this time she decided to graze on some moss instead of following Ketah. So I went back (literally, Ketah had to back down the trail, nowhere to turn around). I got down and reached back to untie Sati. I couldn't quite reach and Ketah usually stands quietly if I'm not on her back. So I let go to reach the 6 inches back for the rope and Ketah took her opportunity to leave.

She started out just walking with me holding her tail and Sati's lead saying "Ketah whoa!". She ignored me. There is no way on these trails to scramble past a moving horse on the trail to catch her. So that's all I could do.

Then she started trotting. I gave up and let her go.

Sati and I walked for a minute or two and Sati suddenly realized Ketah had left her so she started having a fit, prancing and whinnying. I was just about to call my barn owner and ask him to watch for Ketah at the trailhead so that she wouldn't cross the street when I hear Ketah whinny back to Sati.

She comes running back up the trail to stop right in front of me, scaring Sati since you can't see more than 20 feet (or less) ahead of you. I hopped back up, holding Sati's lead and we headed home. I purchased a new bridle for Ketah. This one incorporates a halter. From now on I will ride with the additional security of a long lead rope so she can't do that to me again.

Figure 1: Australian Outrider combination Bridle-Halter

When Sati starts trail riding she will get one of these too. I'm not trusting ground-tying when I can't reach my reins again. At least these have the additional plus that I can drop the bit out of my horse's mouth without taking the entire thing off. Nice when stopping for lunch.

Oh, I realize I lack pictures too often. I will try to get a few this weekend. Mom is coming to visit and we're supposed to go riding together!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like quite the adventure! I'm glad Ketah came back. Hope you have a great time with your Mom.