Thursday, October 21, 2010

going round and round

I moved the round pen panels closer to the house so that the horses could eat a big patch of weeds and I put all the horses in there together. I decided Yalla! needed some "alone" time so I just put her in there alone this time. 

Normally, she is a very vocal horse, neighing at me and the other horses all the time, so I expected her to go wild, screaming her head off. She never said a word! She would run a lap or two, bucking, and then settle down to graze. Then a few minutes later, she'd do it again. But she never called out to the others who were loudly voicing their dismay at being separated. The round pen is very near our driveway now and the boys were working on cars and other garage stuff so they had air compressors and all kinds of things making sudden loud noises. I thought it was great conditioning for her. She took it all in stride. There was a bucket of water in there so I left her for a few hours while I drove to the store. When I came back she seemed even more settled. She was so good natured about the whole separation that I decided to take her for a walk before I took her back to the barn. We walked all around the neighborhood. She had a high head and was slightly nervous but very well behaved over all. I have the long walks to the pasture this past summer to be thankful for. Then I put her back with the others who were VERY glad to see her. Funny, when she and Annie were in the stall together waiting for me to feed them, Annie gave a real deep nicker to Yalla! and lifted her hind leg at her, threatening to kick her, kind of like, "don't you ever go and leave us like that!" Poor Yalla!, as if she had a choice!

Next day, I rode Annie with only the bareback pad and a bridle around the neighborhood and the back forty. I have a nice area behind my neighborhood with a large field and trees and two side roads so I can figure 8 the roads and reride the area without really backtracking. Annie was very nervous. Sandy came along and darted in and out of the bushes, having great fun. After one loop, I decided to ride in the round pen with her for a while, trotting some of the nervousness out. Then I had my son bring Sandy into the house because I could tell she was getting bored watching us go around and round. After a half an hour or so if walking and trotting with no reins (I played airplane) I decided to walk her out back again. She did 100% better. She dropped her head and really enjoyed the ride, looking around with interest instead of fear. I put her away and then I took Yalla! for another walk, all the way to the back this time. I wondered how nervous she would be so far away from home. Nothing. We got to the far back field where the horses sometimes get nervous and she just wanted to drop her head and graze on the luscious grass. Meanwhile, the horses are calling to her from the barn. On Annie's ride, Yalla! and Scout were calling out and Annie was neighing back once in a while. I scolded her each time but it didn't seem to make any difference.

Then, on Tuesday night, I had a meeting to go to. Afterwards, driving home around 9:00, the sky was so bright from the moon that I decided to ride. (I think that my having two cups of coffee at the meeting contributed to my restless mood too.) I hurried out to the barn and bridled up Scout. I climbed on his back using the pipe rail fence and we rode around the neighborhood bareback. He was amazingly calm! I rode around the round pen with him for a while too, walking and trotting, and then we rode back out. All the way out, to the side roads. The night was so bright I could have read a book. I love riding at night! In spite of the others calling to him from the barn he stayed calm and relaxed during our whole ride, never making a sound. There is a long strip of grass near the big pasture and the side road that we cantered down. It was heaven. I think we rode around for a good hour or more.

Going round and round - song: Always Crashing in the Same Car, artist: David Bowie, album: Low


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

You sure are confident. I still haven't tried bareback because when I ride too many things go wrong. I definitely haven't tried without reins or at night either. The other day I thought about taking the horses for walks around the neighborhood on lead ropes, but backed down at the thought of them spooking and yanking my arm out of its socket. I just don't want to do anything that invites trouble these days, because I seem to attract it even when I'm playing it safe.

Sydney_bitless said...

I love riding in a round pen to calm a nervous horse down. I found it's helped Indigo a ton this summer. I still think shes in denial shes getting older. She was a real bugger today.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Nice post and pictures. I like the idea of riding in the full moon.


achieve1dream said...

I miss being able to go out and ride whenever (or just riding in general). I can't wait for Chrome to be old enough. :) I really like riding at night too. It's so much fun. Glad you had fun and Yalla did so good on her walks.

fernvalley01 said...

Sounds absoultely wonderful ! a moonlight ide! it has been years since I have done that

Leah Fry said...

I love riding in a round pen. It's a great place to ride bareback. Now that you say that, I'm going to plan that, maybe as soon as this weekend. Great idea!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds magical under the moonlight. That's great your horses gave you a wonderful evening.
I've not ridden Apache bareback since I tried her out in the indoor arena for the first time. Maybe one day I will be brave enough (and balanced enough) to trot and canter bareback, too.


Fantastyk Voyager said...

Breathe has left a new comment on your post "going round and round":

What a great night ride! I'm here at my dad's and the desert is luminous with that gorgeous moon.

(Edited by FV for personal information)

Rising Rainbow said...

Yalla! was a good girl in the round pen. How cool is that!

A moonlight ride sounds awesome. I think I could handle one of those if there were a place around here to do it.