Posts Tagged With: bucking

Redeemed and the Rattlesnake

It has been a pretty exciting week, friends – starting with last weekend!

So, do you remember in my last blog post, when I confessed that I had behaved rather poorly in my workout? And I said that I would just behave if I were to do my workout over again (so that I wouldn’t have to work on a circle forever and ever and ever)?

Well, because my Mommy is so loving and forgiving and redeeming, (are you reading this, Mommy?) in her infinite wisdom (don’t forget to bring the carrots!) she decided to give me another chance to prove that my mind was in the game the very next day, just like I had hoped for! We went down to the lower arena where my new friends were waiting in their field, just on the other side of the arena wall – egging me on and calling me over to hang out with them – and I was able to prove to Mommy that I was going to pay attention only to her and not to anything else! I gave my friends a brief hello and a quick apology for not being able to go out and play… and then I got right down to work.

It turns out that Mommy had a wonderful, fun-filled workout planned for us – as long as I behaved better than I had the day before.

And what was that “surprise” workout plan, you ask?

JUMPING! What else?! Of course, I did behave better than I had the day before because in my own infinite wisdom, I knew that Mommy had been wanting to jump again… and, knowing exactly how my Mommy thinks, I knew that she would use this learning experience as a chance to “reward” me with my favorite thing in the world! (Well, next to marshmallows, that is…) Anyway, her plan worked. Good plan, Mommy.

Okay, lets get to the even more exciting part: Mommy and I saw a rattlesnake!

After Mommy had hopped down off my back and we were leaving the arena, I heard a sound that I’d never heard before in my entire life – but one that was completely unmistakeable. The eerie, hissing, rattling sound of a rattlesnake!  Before Mommy had even realized what the sound was, I turned on my heels and I was OUTTA THERE! I did not need to stop and look at it. I already knew what it would look like – even though I’d never seen one – and I was pretty sure it looked like this:

Raaawwwwrrr! Hiiiissssss! I will eat you in one big bite!!!

Raaawwwwrrr! Hiiiissssss! I will eat you in one big bite!!!

After I broke free from Mommy’s grasp, I ran around to the other side of the arena before getting tangled up in my reins (don’t worry; I didn’t step on them and they didn’t break – they only hindered my escape!) and then Mommy came and got me. She made me walk back over to where the snake was (again, don’t worry; we didn’t get very close that time) and we both got a brief glimpse of what it looked like. I was right! It looked just like that photo, but a hundred times bigger and scarier and meaner and angrier! But the scariest part was that Princess, my kitty friend who likes to take naps in Mommy’s lap while she’s on my back, was sitting in the grass stalking the rattlesnake! I couldn’t take it. I bolted again – and that time, I almost took Mommy’s arm with me!

Mommy caught up to me just as I stepped through my reins again, and at that moment a woman came running out from the barn asking if Mommy and I were okay. Aside from me having almost ripped Mommy’s arm completely off of her body (sorry, Mommy… I didn’t mean to!), we were fine. Mommy told the lady that there was “a rattler over there” and that Princess was staring at it, about to get eaten in one single gulp. (Okay, maybe I added that last part in myself. But that was the gist of it.) The lady grabbed a couple rocks and threw them toward Princess to scare her away before running to alert the media that the biggest, scariest rattlesnake in existence was currently hissing and rattling right next to the arena!

The end result?

The rattlesnake was beheaded with a machete.

Boy, it sure was exciting! Not that I saw the beheading or anything. I’m not sure I could have handled that, to be honest with y’all.

Anyway, after we’d gone through our routine of cooling out, taking a shower, getting liniment on my legs, eating grass while drying off, getting groomed and then eating my grain mash, Mommy headed home… and I decided to have a nice, long roll in my shavings. There’s really nothing like a good roll to relax a horse after a hard workout and an exciting, near-death experience with a rattlesnake.

To my great embarrassment, however – and I was only embarrassed because my Aunt Bonnie and our friend, Shelley, were there watching me – I rolled a little too close to the side of my stall and got my right hind shoe stuck on the wire mesh. Trying my best to act nonchalant as I attempted to get up, I pulled as hard as I could and yanked the shoe right off! I didn’t hurt myself, though, and I only broke off a little piece of my hoof. I buried the shoe deep in the shavings so that Mommy wouldn’t see it, because I did not want to tell her what I had done. If Mommy asked me where my shoe was (because I knew she would see right away that I had lost one when she came back in the evening), I planned on playing dumb and telling her that I had no idea what happened or where it could have “fallen” off.

Well, as it turns out, I didn’t get off the hook that easily because my Aunt Bonnie told Mommy all about the incident!  But Mommy wasn’t mad; she just wanted to find my shoe so that I didn’t step on it and get a nail through my hoof. (And, Aunt Bonnie, if you’re reading this – don’t worry. I’m not mad at you for telling on me! I still love you very much. Just keep those treats coming and you can tell on me all you want!)

In the end, though, I guess it was actually a good thing that Aunt Bonnie told Mommy what happened, because Mommy new exactly where to look for my shoe and quickly found it where I’d hidden it.

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Mommy called my new friend, Tim the Horseshoer, and he came out in an incredibly timely manner to put my shoe back on. (Mommy called him on Sunday and he was there on Monday evening!) He even put some acrylic filler in the spot where I broke a little of my hoof wall off, which was pretty cool. He filled in the spot with wet acrylic stuff, let the acrylic dry and then sanded it down so that it looks and acts just like my actual hoof! If you don’t know it’s there, you can’t even tell.

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He’s a nice guy and he really treats me very well. I tried to be on my best behavior, and I wasn’t nervous with him at all because I can tell that he really loves me and cares about my well-being. He works with lots of Thoroughbreds and some really famous horses, too, so I know that he’s the perfect farrier for me! He told Mommy that he wanted to see me out there competing in the jumpers arena, and I seconded that wholeheartedly!

I only had my shoe off for about two days, but I was very happy to get it back on again because I wasn’t allowed to work while I was missing a shoe! And having two days off in a row is like torture when you have as much energy as I do! Although I have to give Mommy a lot of credit; even though she wouldn’t let me run around in the arena or anything like that, she made sure that I got out to graze for multiple hours each day. One morning, she was there for almost 5 hours! She and I got to watch the sunrise while I grazed, which was really beautiful.

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And, of course, my friend Olive hung out with us for a long time.

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Princess even came to hang out with us for a while, too!

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I really love having so many friends here in California.

Anyway, the morning after I got my shoe back on, Mommy came to the barn and turned me out in the arena. She said that I had been very well behaved the past two days, but that she knew how much energy I had – so she was going to give me to opportunity to get it all out in any way that I wanted to, instead of riding me and making me get right back to work.

I thought that was very nice of her.

So, how did I choose to expel my energy, you might ask?

I danced! I jumped and I spun and I kicked up my heels!

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I imagined that I was at one of Daddy’s rock-and-roll concerts and I jumped right into the “mosh pit!”

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I showed off how fancy I can be, just to hear Mommy tell me that I’m gorgeous!

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I ran and galloped and pretended that I was a racehorse again!

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And, of course, I paid homage to the mountains and the clouds, because they were watching my every dance move (and cheering me on)!

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Well, since then, it’s been work as usual… But that’s not so bad – I love working! I feel like I’m getting into better and better shape every day, which is a really good thing because Mommy and I need to get back to jumping five feet as soon as we can! I miss it, so I know she must miss it, too.

Anyway, friends, I think that’s about all I have to report today. I’ll have Mommy take some more photos of Robin and her baby soon so that you can see how much the little filly is growing. She sure is a cutie – and so is her Mama!

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And on that note, I’ll catch y’all later…

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Categories: A Day in the Life of Icchy Star | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Just a quick rant…

Alright, any of you horses out there who have done a little bit of dressage will probably be able to relate to this. I love my human, but sometimes I just don’t understand why she does the things she does. So, when I was just a wee pony at the age of three, my humans spent a lot of time teaching me the basics of what they call “flatwork.” My human Mommy spent a lot of time teaching me what it meant to “move off the leg,” which basically meant that I was supposed to move away from the pressure of her leg, instead of into it (which is my natural response). And after I learned to move off her leg, she taught me how to pick up the correct lead at a canter with a simple cue from one of her legs or the other.

Here's a photo of me when I was three, learning my leads

Here’s a photo of me when I was three, learning my leads

Once I had that down, she taught me how to know which lead I was supposed to pick up, depending on which direction we were going. It was simple: whichever way I’m turning, that’s the lead I should be on. So, if I’m turning right, my right front leg should be leading, hence the right lead. And last – but not least – before I was allowed to start jumping, she taught me how to switch my lead in the middle of a stride, which the humans call a “flying” lead change. I picked up on all of this very quickly, being that I’m the smartest horse in the world and whatnot. (Maybe that’s why my human Daddy calls me a “smart-ass?” Whatever that means.)

Anyway, on to my rant. Today, my workout began just as pleasantly as yesterday – lots of stretching and loosening my muscles, without my human restricting my movement through the use of her reins. Once I felt nice and loose, we got to work. We did our usual routine to begin with – trotting and cantering in a frame, a couple flying lead changes… you know the drill. But then, my human decided that she wanted me to canter around on the wrong lead. Yeah, you read that right… the WRONG lead. She called it “an exercise in self control,” and “learning to stop anticipating,” but you know what I call it?

Wrong. I call it just plain WRONG!

I mean, honestly. Why would you spend SO much time teaching a horse the correct leads, if you’re just going to make him canter on the wrong lead – purposely?

Well, for all of you horses out there who are nodding and whinnying along with me, you should know that I didn’t just go quietly into the night. As I always do, I voiced my opinion in the best way I know how: I threw a huge, heart-felt buck! And I’m happy to report that my human got the message, loud and clear!

Here's a photo of me "expressing my opinion" about having to canter on the WRONG lead!

Here’s a photo of me “expressing my opinion” about having to canter on the WRONG lead!

Not that she decided to stop torturing me with this “wrong lead” nonsense… No, as a matter of fact, to get back at me for almost unseating her, she made me canter around two more full rotations of the arena on the wrong lead before she allowed me to do my beautiful, charismatic “flying” lead change. (For those of you who are wondering how I can add charisma to a lead change: I knew better than to buck again, even though I wanted to – but I couldn’t not rebel against those extra laps… so I made sure to give a new meaning to the term “flying” change, and I LEAPT through the air as I changed my lead! Luckily, my human thought it was hilarious and laughed, calling me names like “goofball,” instead of making me do more work on the wrong lead…)

Alright, so, I guess it wasn’t really that bad. And I’m probably pretty lucky that my humans let me voice my opinion about everything.There are a lot of horses out there who don’t have that kind of freedom, who are “forced” to do things, instead of “asked” to do things. So, even though my humans sometimes have very strange ideas about what they want me to do, I’m still grateful for them.

Especially because I got a nice, sweet treat filled with oats and molasses afterward. That’s always the best part!

Alright, friends, I’m out of here. All this talk about my workout (and molasses… Mmmmmm!) made me hungry again, so I think I’ll go and eat some more hay while I wait for my dinner grain. Catch y’all tomorrow!

Categories: A Day in the Life of Icchy Star, Memories and Nostalgia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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