Friday, July 11, 2014

Ridin' the Sagebrush

I've finally healed up from my bronc bustin' escapades a few weeks ago. And the mares have finally simmered down from being in heat. I've never seen such a ruckus between them and the one gelding in their midst.

The youngest horse, Lily, who bucked me off not once, but twice; breaking my finger and putting a rib out, was a terror while in heat. She is so calm and easy to manage the rest of the time, she took me by surprise with her antics. Then one of the old ladies, Jammer, decided she wasn't going to be outdone by Lily and was squealing and kicking at anything that came near her.

Rebecca on Annie. Me on Bud.

Last week my granddaughter, Rebecca, from Alaska and I went on a short ride with my gelding Bud and the other old mare, Annie, who didn't seem to have a temperament issue like the other two. While riding along the side of the alfalfa field we stopped and watched a young doe peek over the tall sagebrush at us. We stood watching one another for five minutes before the doe picked her way up the side of the hill. Annie realized in quick order that Rebecca was a greenhorn. Soon Annie was wandering among the alfalfa plants and nipping off the tops. I instructed Rebecca on how to keep her on the road and not allow her to eat while riding.

Heading out with the boys.

This week while Rebecca stayed with her girl cousins, the boys, Austin and Justice, and I went for a ride. Austin chose the tallest horse, Jammer, a Tennessee Walker. Luckily Jammer was no longer being a pill. When Austin stands next to Jammer he can't reach all the way to the top of her back but he was determined to help me saddle and bridle his mare. His "no fear" attitude had Jammer thinking he knew more about riding than he does. The two of them made a great pair. By the end of the ride Austin was calling Jammer his baby. "That's my baby. Good job." LOL  Only seconds into the ride Annie figured out Justice and was doing pretty much what she wanted. He did manage to keep her out of the alfalfa most of the time and not fall off. He didn't have Austin's "no fear" mentality and every time Annie stubbed a hoof or balked he'd give a little squeal.
Austin and Jammer leading the way.

An hour after we finished the ride, Austin wanted to go again. I told him we would ride more next week now that the horses have calmed down and he proved he can handle Jammer.

It's amazing how each child is so different in how they approach challenges and life. I'm looking forward to more horseback rides with the grandkids.

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