I threw some food on the kitchen counter for the kids, wrote them a note, and headed East. I was excited and nervous and running late. I was on my way to ride “Little Miss Thang”, a 9yr old mare whose owner needs to thin her herd a little. I had already met Miss Thang, she had impeccable ground manners and was pretty well trained. I drove up the gravel drive, towards the barn, and her pack of large pit-bull looking dogs announced my arrival. We were to ride together that day, but circumstances changed and I would be riding alone, in a strange place, on a strange horse. We headed to the barn, where Miss Thang was waiting in a stall. We brushed her, saddled her, and up I went. This is when it got real. Apparently, I was her first man. She had nothing but female riders, and she decided that I was to be tested. She immediately broke into a cantor, then on to a full gallop. I pulled hard on the right rein and brought her around ok, but when I instructed her to head back where we came from, she brought both of her front feet off the ground, and my sphincter tightened a bit. It seems I was too loose on her reins, and she was determined to show me how unwise that was. After a few minutes, she reluctantly agreed to what I asked her to do, and we proceeded thru the gate, out onto a narrow trail, fraught with peril. Uneven creek beds, slippery rocks, low slung branches and numerous spider webs awaited. She negotiated all of this in a sure footed manner, but I just know she was having a bit of fun running me close to jagged branches so I’d have to lay flat across her withers. At some point, I think, we reached an agreement about how much reining she needed. I was exhausted in minutes, so I turned her around and we walked briskly back, thru the gate, and out onto a rocky, neglected pasture. Back on the ground, she was again the epitome of good manners, she kept a respectful distance, stopped when I did, and kept her eyes on me at all times. I took her back to the barn, removed her tack, and let her join her friends out in the front pasture. I’m torn. I like this horse. She, like another I have, came from an abusive home, so she has some issues. She is not for the feint of heart to ride. On the ground, she does everything but fix you a glass of sweet-tea. Do I have the patience and experience to make her a dependable rider? I don’t know. I’d love the challenge, but I’m slightly concerned about introducing yet another mare into our herd. I need to think on this awhile.
However, Tomorrow is the day Feisty Lady arrives. We traded for her last month, and she is scheduled for delivery on Monday! I’ll post a pic if I can borrow B’s camera. Yeah!