I managed to get a run and shower in before heading out to the barn and decided after brief deliberation to bring Spud along for the ride. Annie had that "look" in her eye which suggested she may or may not be a bit hot under the collar, but I persisted with my original plan, insisting to myself that the
Doctor's Vet's orders for Spud were to exercise him more regularly. So, I decided to do just that, hot horse be damned.
|Pre-ride, not making eye contact of any form and looking longingly down the driveway.|
By the time I tacked up and swung a leg over, I knew it was going to be an interesting ride. Annie was very excited to be out, and attempted to drag me down the driveway, rooting at the reins with her ears pricked and legs dancing like jello beneath me. I immediately went back to the old technique I used last year of circling her over and over again, allowing her to just battle against herself until she decided to stand quiet.
Which, in theory, it's a relatively easy and remarkably effective tool. Except of course when you have a begrudgingly fat pony who doesn't see the point in circling over and over again and decides to park himself in the most inconvenient of places. Which, I guess I should be happy that he caught on early enough to my scheme and realized walking in circles wasn't fun? Except Annie hadn't gotten to that point yet, so we kinda two-stepped around Spud several times, trying carefully to not get his leadrope mixed up, as he had decided pivoting in place was also beyond his capabilities.
I gave up after a few minutes and decided the beast I had was the beast I would ride.
Annie stared hard at some snow pack on the shoulder of the road and gave an unvoluntary shudder. I clucked her up, "It's just snow!" And at that moment, a fist sized amount simply broke apart and rolled towards the asphalt.
Annie: "IT'S NOT JUST SNOW, IT IS GOING TO EAT US".
Way to make me a liar, mother nature.
|"THE SNOW WILL CONSUME US ALLLLLL" -Annie, probably.|
Thankfully it didn't take long to get Annie's eggs back into their basket. By the time we had reached the dirt road, she had reminded herself she was a strong independent trail pony. Which was great, until we met up with N and her sister.
So, four ponies in total strutted down the road together. Kind of.
Because Spud decided he was going to walk right into Annie and push her over into AJ. And Annie, bless her friggen heart, LISTENED TO HIM, and then got pissy when she was right sandwiched between the two geldings. I tried several times to push him over with my foot, redirect with his leadrope, etc. Nope, he was not having it.
I swear, this pony is so frustrating to pony sometimes - he just struts right into Annie's bubble and she quietly will move away when he asks.
I ended up moving Annie to the outside and having Spud near AJ, which sorta seemed to help, but not really.
N's sister's horse was falling behind and we ended up taking him back home - he's 26 so understandably he was less fit but also less excited about being out, haha. The three remaining horses had to stand quiet (shocker I know), and in that time amped themselves up while I waited for N to help her sister put her horse away.
We headed out again, and all three were right assholes.
Spud, to Annie: "She called us assholes. Did you hear that?"
It took about 5 minutes for Annie and Spud to get their shit together, but poor N had a passagey horse who was pissed he didn't get to go home with his buddy. I felt kind of bad toodling on a buckle rein while AJ worked himself up over nothing. Spring time... I swear.
We ended up parting ways a little earlier than usual, as N wanted to give AJ a nice trot stretch on the way home and the unscheduled stops had made my time at the barn quite a bit later than I had intended.
All that considered tho, I was pretty pleased Annie and Spud both settled and we were able to finish out the ride on a high note. But I was also hoping my next ride would have much less unruly enthusiasm.