Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Crazy Horse For Sale!

So anybody looking to buy a bull-headed bay mare who has one speed, which is faster than the speed of light?  She eats like a garbage disposal, gets extremely jealous if you look at another horse while in her presence and is prone to being absolutely terrified by a bird flying in the sky a kilometre away.  If so, Socks is perfect for you!

Seriously, by the end of my ride today, I wanted to either A) sell my horse or B) kill her.  I still want to do the second option a bit.  I offered to trade my horse for T's Phoenix but she wasn't going for it.  I wonder why. 

I guess I'll start at the beginning.  After our deep-freeze, the weather's finally beginning to be nice again.  My mom and I rode outside last Sunday....which was fun but I'll admit, very slow.  I like to go fast and so does Socks, admittedly, she likes to go much faster than I do, and my mom and Jimmy are just not there yet.  We did a bit of trotting but it was mostly walking.  At the end of the ride my mom and Jimmy went back to the stable and Socks and I ran across the hayfield.  It's a HUGE field and we ran across a third of it.  We didn't go too too fast, as I was looking for wholes and Socks was half thinking about running and half wondering where Jimmy was, but it was fun.  It was the first time since she'd come down that we'd gotten to do that.

Well today my sister drove me out so it was just me.  I saddled Socks up in record time and we went for a ride down the road to the highway.  It started off well enough, although Socks was distracted by the fact that Jimmy was not coming with us.  She kept trying to trot and then turn back to the stable.  We argued about it and I won.  Then we had a nice lope in the ditch and she was beginning to listen better.  Then it all fell apart.

There was a flock of birds, flying in the distance, at least a kilometre away.  And it was the absolute scariest thing in the entire world.  Her ears went up, she stopped and stared, snorting.  And I should mention, they were flying away from us.  She kept trying to spin around and dash back home.  E and his daughter L drove by with the trailer to go pick up a horse from the vet and to them, Socks looked like she was being perfect.  In reality, I was trying to convince my horse that we were in fact, not racing the truck.  Then we got to the highway and that is the best field to run in.  I can stay far enough away from the vehicles, but there are no holes in the field.  So we loped through most of it and then when we turned around I let her run.  We had about half a second of fun gallop, and about thirty seconds of an argument that ended with the one-rein stop.  I could have killed her on the spot.  We've gone so long without her taking off.  The second I gave her some rein, she grabbed the bit and just took off, like a racehorse coming out of the starting gate. 

I still maintain being on a runaway horse is the absolute worst feeling in the world.  And sadly, it no longer freaks me out, it just makes me angry.  I stopped her, turned her around and made her lope away from home.  I'm pretty sure at that point she wanted to kill me but she does not, ever, get to take off on me, especially when we're going in the direction of home.  With the threat of going even further away in her mind, she was perfect for the first bit of the ride home. 

Then she kept trying to trot again the whole time.  When I'd make her walk, she throw her head up and then bring it down so her nose was practically dragging on the ground, trying to get the reins out of my hands so she could go faster.  And then I would yell at her that I wouldn't have any pressure on the reins if she would just walk like a normal horse.  I'm sure the neighbours got a good show. She frustrates me.  I have to pull back on the reins to make her walk, then I reward her for walking by loosening up on the reins...and then she starts trying to run again so the process repeats.

We loped again which once again ended with her trying to bolt but I was ready for it so she didn't get to break out of a lope.  Once we finally got back to the stable, in the last light of the day, I rode her into the hay field across from the stable and attempted to lope her in circles.  It...did not work out.  What it ended up being was Socks trying madly to dash across the field while I turned her and when I didn't let her run, she'd come to a dead-stop.  Eventually I was getting her to lope some consistent....shapes that very vaguely might resemble a circle if you used your imagination.  And then we turned to go home.  Well the next ten minutes involved her trying to trot home, me spinning her around and making her trot in the opposite direction every time she broke out of a walk.  It took a while but she finally got it.

This is my horse we're talking about, the one who has been there and done that.  She's been in the Rockies countless times.  She's gone swimming, crossed rivers, been in lakes.  Been stuck in muskeg up to her neck.  We've been chased by quads and dirt bikes, we've gone across rickety old bridges.  She's been through the drive-thru at Tim Hortons, twice, been ridden right through town.  We've chased mustangs, we even chased a cougar (that's a story I'll one day tell).  She's had to put up with everything I've put her through, just to see if I could, and she freaks at a flock of birds a kilometre away.  And no, they didn't even pop up suddenly...they were just flying.  She was an idiot and she knows better.  She's amazing in the forest and Rockies, where you never know what's around the corner, or above you in the trees but she's a mess on the prairies where it's so flat you can watch your dog run away for three days.

I know I'm overreacting, I'm just so frustrated with it.  I know what she's usually like and I know what she's been through, it's disappointing to have such a bad ride over such trivial things.  If she was young or new to being ridden outside of an arena, I'd be more understanding.  I'm not going to be angry over it for much longer, and it definitely won't be our last ride outside.  Apparently I need to do it more to show her that we can still behave outside and we have more speeds than just faster than the speed of light.  It's just so annoying to have such an experienced trail horse act like it was her first time outside

To end this on a slightly less negative note, she's at least still great about going over train tracks, no hesitation, and the vehicles on the highway didn't bother her a bit.  I didn't think they would, at  my dad's we ride down the highway all the time, but today, I just wasn't sure how she was going to be.  And she made her motorcycle noise, as my brother calls it, when I was bringing her food and that's my favourite noise to hear.
On a side-note, the vet is coming out next Monday or Tuesday to do their teeth (Socks and Jimmy).  I'm not worried about Socks but I am about Jimmy.  I hope it all goes well.


Ally said...

It's funny how horses are like that sometimes. The stupidest things can suddenly become the scariest things in the world. I remember one time riding Target and him freaking out a rock. Never mind the coyotes or the thunder. It was the rock that did him in.

I have no idea what to tell you about Socks and her need for speed. That horse is crazy. Don't sell her though. :) You'd regret it. Same with the killing.

Wolfie said...

Thank goodness for one-rein stops, right? :-) Hope the dentistry visit goes well for Jimmy.

Megan said...

We used to get gallahs flying over our paddocks in the evenings and I was always worried that Jack would spook at them and leave me to eat dust. He didn't worry about thunder and lightning, plastic bags, rabbits that ran right next to him, people standing on the back of the ute driving WAY too fast screaming, but one day he spooked at a shrub. It had always been sitting inside his paddock and one day he looked at it and I guess he thought that a horse killing gremlin was living in it or something.

HAHA! We call Lady a motorbike at feeding time too lol.

Megan said...

It sucks that you and Socks were having some issues, but I think we all have bad days, even horses. Hopefully she will calm down for next time!

Scarface spooks at anything. One time, he spooked because the horses in the field beside him were standing at the gate. Seriously!