Monday, August 22, 2016

A Musical Ride

A Musical Ride

Ellen and I went on a long ride.  We did a lot of trotting and a little bit of cantering on the way out.  On the way home, we did a fair amount of trotting, too.  It was a very hot and humid morning, and the horses needed a break, so we decided we’d better do some walking for a while.  

There is one part of the trail that goes over a large pipe that drains into the river.  As we approached it, I heard voices.  Now and then, people will stand below the trail by the pipe, and it can startle the horses when they see them.  I looked around, but didn’t see anyone.  I then looked just past it to some land that juts out over the river to a point--maybe 30 feet from the trail--and saw a couple men standing there.  That must have been where the voices came from.  I didn’t give the men a second glance and continued riding by.  Mistake.

Just as Cole was passing them and Dante was only a few steps behind, the peal of bagpipes pierced the air.  Ellen and I both nearly jumped out of our skin.  We halted our horses and clicked them for their obedience.  The second man started pounding a drum.  Cole looked at them curiously as he chewed his carrot.  Ellen described Dante’s response the same way.  We proceeded down the trail at a walk.  The horses acted like nothing even happened.  We were laughing about it, and the bagpipes played on.

This isn’t the first time we have encountered a bagpipe player on a ride. It has happened a few times before over the years, but this was the first time for these two horses.  We were so proud they handled it like champs.

The rest of the ride was uneventful except for one time when Dante leapt up into the air and trotted a few steps.  Ellen thought maybe a bug bit him.  About five minutes later, we wanted Dante to lead, so I stopped Cole for him to pass.  As he walked by, I looked down and saw both his front leg and back leg on that side were covered with small, green burrs!  Poor guy had drifted off the trail right before he leapt up.  Ellen immediately leapt down and rescued him.  We liked how, after the initial attack of the burrs, he settled right down and didn’t fret about them sticking to his legs.

It is nice to have a couple of horses who can handle odd occurrences on the trail.  You can try to expose them to everything, but there will always be something new to encounter.

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