For January, At Least
It was well over 70 degrees f today. Short sleeved tee shirt was in order and I had to take the sheets off the Boys.
Lovely weather to work outside in. I stripped two stalls and unloaded twelve bags of feed before going to the chiropractor and physcial therapy. Then, when I got home, I picked the riding ring and took Chance out for a trail ride.
Just my luck. The gorgeous weather had brought out a group of ATV's. They were revving their engines in the woods where I was planning to go. I think someone had gotten stuck in the mud--serves them right, it's their mud--but the noise was enough to make me dismount, just in case. While Chance has been generally unspooked by everything so far, I didn't think meeting a groups of ATV's was a good idea. I don't know exactly how much control I have over him as far as steering and brakes go, so I opted for my feet on the ground.
The ATV drivers came out along the exact trail I had headed in to, so I scurried back out to the field and held Chance about 20 yards away. The riders did slow down and keep their engines as quiet as possible once they saw us--so I'll give them high points for that. And, I must admit, Chance did not seem either impressed or bothered by them at all. However, that was with me holding him from the ground, not in the saddle. Once they'd passed, I led him for quite a distance into the woods to a place where I knew there was a fallen tree in a good spot for a safe remount.
On the way in, I met a young man who had found one lost beagle yesterday and another one today. He was looking for rabbit hunters who may have lost the dogs. I doubt if he had any luck. I am beginning to believe some of these hunters around here just don't care at all if they leave a dog behind. I think they fugure if the beagle isn't obedient enough to come back at the end of the day, it's not worth taking home again.
Knowing the ATV's, hunters, and beagles were generally out of the area, I took Tucker out. This was on his "comfort trail" but going in the opposite direction. I'm not sure we've finished this ride too many times. Today was almost no exception. As we were heading down the last part of the trail to the field, he balked. This time I think it was the fallen log with the sun shining on it. We had a bit of a battle over this one. Since he never felt as if he were going to buck, but was just totally stuck, refusing to go in that direction, I kept circling and pushing him on. I am going to guestimate it was a good five minutes or more of one step foward, balk, try to turn around, circle, step sideways, balk, paw, refuse to turn, manage a circle, one step forward, etc. I made angry noises instead of trying to soothe him about it. I can do a pretty good growl when called for. Finally, though not at all too sure, I started to go. We skirted the log with a good neck craning glance and made it out to the field and the last leg home. Mind you, this is all of a fifteen minute trail ride on a normal horse. Tucker seems normal going in the opposite direction. It's just going this way that he sees the goblins under the logs.
Just outside the safety zone near my property, we passed another hunter, gun in hand. I made a comment that all would be fine as long as he didn't shoot, and he kind of waved me on. We made it home safely.
All of which made me decide to simply lunge Toby in the ring for a bit. He had been all worked up in the morning when a hunter had crossed through the woods behind the paddock, exactly where this last guy was, so I figured there was just no point in stirring him up again. He is simply no fun at all to ride when he is closing in on hysterics. So the schooling day ended quietly.
Then, I decided I'd drag the ring. I put the drag on the tractor and saw that the fuel gauge was reading kind of low. Drove over to the garage to get some fuel. I think I may have goofed big time and put gasoline in the diesel by accident. Managed to get near the gate when the engine quit. If I did screw up, I can only hope I didn't do any damage. The engine only ran about a minute before it quit. It was either gas, or bad diesel. At any rate, now I have to call the repair place if I can't find anyone around here to look at it for me.
Why do I always manage to make an adventure of a perfectly beautiful day? It never fails.