Friday, July 29, 2011

Scary River

We had another pretty big flood this month. When the water went down enough to cross, we found a large log partially blocking the river bank on the far side, a faster current and funny ripples that weren’t there before. Either the slate bottom got torn up or some big rocks were moved in. It was hard to tell because the water was still muddy.

Kevin tried to go on a ride on his own, and Starry refused to cross. A few days later, he wanted to ride with me to help get Starry to the other side. I took Cruiser and I am glad to say that Cruiser wasn’t worried about the changes at all. The only problem we had with him was he wanted to drink and drink. We just wanted to get Starry across before he thought too much about what we were doing. Eventually, Cruiser decided to cooperate and we made it!

On the way home, Cruiser stepped on what I correctly guessed was a large, flat piece of shale about 6 inches high. He put his hoof on it, started to shift his weight to step up, paused, did it again, paused, and when I asked him to move to the side of the rock, he happily took his hoof off and put it next to the shale. It is so nice to have a horse that thinks before acting.

The next morning, Ellen tried to cross Ranger, and he refused. It looked too funny to him. They worked out a compromise—once he got all 4 hooves in the water, she turned him around and they gave up on the river.

Well, that put me in a tough spot. The following evening, my niece was supposed to ride with me, and she rides Ranger. I talked it over with Ellen, and we decided that I would ride Ranger across and then we would switch horses on the other side. We knew that Cruiser would cross, and that should help Ranger.

I’m glad to say that the water was lower, and now we could see all the large hunks of shale that were washed down; causing the funny ripples. The water was still traveling faster that it used to. I told my niece to start down the river bank to the water. Ranger refused to go first. Cruiser thought Ranger had the right idea—and who was that on his back, anyway, and why did he have to listen to her?

Poor Ranger had to take the lead. I clicked him halfway down the bank and gave him a carrot. That put him in a much better mood. I clicked him when he stepped into the water, too. He stopped and I gave him another carrot. He was nervous. Cruiser wasn’t in the lead like he was supposed to be. I asked Ranger to walk, and he started wading through the water. I clicked and clicked and clicked, but he was so uptight that he didn’t stop! When we got to the other side, I he finally stopped for a click. I hopped off and gave him the handful of carrots he should have gotten if he had stopped while I was clicking. Cruiser finally made it over, and we switched horses and enjoyed the rest of our ride.

The only other difficulty we had was on the way home. I forgot to tell my niece to be careful about the log on the river bank that initially scared Range. I was in the lead and heard a noise. It was Ranger scurrying down the river bank and into the water to get away from the log. No harm done, and it was a good experience for my niece to ride a nervous horse for a few seconds. He calmed down and was fine the rest of the way home.

Soon, Ranger will cross the water as reliable as he used to be. By then, the log will be gone and Kevin will have cleaned the rocks out of the water.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

Sounds exciting! I'm glad you got him across and you guys enjoyed the ride. :)