Monday, August 5, 2013
Friday, my older niece came out to ride. We took Cole and Ranger out, and had a great time. She has gotten so confident with Ranger, that we can do a lot of trotting—even towards home when he naturally goes faster. As we reached the intersection of the trail that leads across the river to home, it started to rain. I asked her if she wanted to go home or ride the access trail which adds about 15 minutes to the ride. She chose to go on. We got pretty wet, but fortunately, we had jackets on, so it wasn’t so bad. We did enjoy going a little further, so it was worth it.
Her mother and my younger niece came out to bring her home, as I was going to go over Kevin’s to watch our latest installment of “Dexter.” My sister-in-law never saw Dante, before, so we turned him out to play. He put on a great show. Then we decided to give her a double header and gave Cole a chance to stretch his legs. Stretch them he did—he is quite a wild horse when he runs. He reminds me so much of the movie, “The Black Stallion.” (He is on 25 percent Arab, but this is when it shows the most.) It is amazing that he is such a cooperative horse to ride, when he feels like he does when I set him free--after the ride.
After that, it was time to do chores and walk Cruiser. I had plenty of help, and we were done in no time.
Saturday, my sister and I took Ranger on Dante on a trail ride. We did a lot of trotting—taking turns with the lead. Dante was great.
For the first time, we went beyond the “second river crossing.” We got to see on Dante would do on a different crossing. Ranger went first, of course. Dante stopped at the edge of the water, and it took him a whole 10 seconds before he stepped in. The river starts out shallow, but then gets higher than their knees. When Dante got to that spot, he tried to lift his legs all the way out of the water on each step. That didn’t work so well, and he tripped and went down in the front. Ellen stayed still, and he regained his balance, pulled himself back up and continued across the river.
All went well on the other side. We did a little trotting and mostly walking, turned around and headed home.
Ranger went in the river, first, and we stopped halfway and waited. The bank is about 10 feet and very steep. Dante stopped at the top and looked around. Ellen got him to take a few steps down, but he really wanted to keep looking about. At this point, Ranger started making a noise that sounded like a dog growling. He then started turning—doing a 360—growling the whole way. My sister saw what was going on, and said I should just cross him. Ranger doesn’t like standing in the river, and we had reached his limit.
Ellen asked Dante to proceed, but he spun and dashed back up the bank. She didn’t want a fight and said she would cross on the street. This would be the first time he was ever on the ford, and he didn’t like the way the water looked from it, but he did cross without drama. By now, I was across and Ranger looked back—and there was no Dante. He was very upset. I guided him up the little trail that leads to the road, and he called out to Dante. Dante answered and Ranger realized that all was right with the world.
Ellen felt that Dante would have crossed if she would have just let him stand there, looking around, until he was ready. That is what happened before when she was working with the first river crossing. Ranger was the problem, this time. Next time, maybe we will bring Cole—he loves standing in the water.
The ride home was uneventful.
Sunday, my younger niece came out to ride. We saddled up the horses and headed down the hill—only to be shocked that the river was too high to cross. We all knew it had rained, but we never thought it rained that much. We are now calling our rainy summer, “The Curse of Dante.” We did the hill three times and rode around the loop at the barn.