October 7, 2010

Surprises in the pasture

I had a very proud moment last night while riding Rose. We were practicing our downward transitions, and right when I asked her to come to the walk in the corner she all of a sudden stopped dead, imitated a giraffe, and froze. I immediately searched the property line for what she was starring at. Cougar, fox, coyote? No...a far more dangerous animal...a deer!

"Crap" I thought, "she's either going to act like a Percheron or a Thoroughbred". I immediately prepared for the TB reaction. I should have had more faith in her. After about 30 seconds of letting her stand perfectly still while petting her neck and saying GOOD GIRL, I assessed that she decided to be Percheron at that moment and was not going to flip out and gallop to the other end of the arena. Instead she just stood there with her gaze following the slow movement of the deer across the pasture. I decided that was enough, gave her another good pat, applied light leg pressure from my left leg and asked her to walk on, tracking to the right along the long side of the arena and then asked for another halt transition. She took a sigh and obligingly listened to me and abruptly forgot all about the deer. In fact, she didn't even try to slow and look for the deer the next time we passed that corner! What a good girl. Some days I am so proud of Miss Thing. She just makes my heart feel good.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

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