April 4, 2014
Spring is here. Well, in most of the country, spring is showing signs of arriving. Our weather has been nice, except for the wind but we always have wind so it doesn’t count on the spring-o-meter.
The barn cats had five kittens, the neighbor’s dog had the cutest little black and white border collie puppies. I’m sure the cottontails have bunnies, the Robins have birdies and the badger has . . . little badgers.
Spring–the time of rebirth, flowers and really spooky stuff.
There’s something about the coming of warm weather that makes a young horse loopy. Anyone who’s ridden a colt in the spring knows what I mean. My sweet, calm four year old, Cisco, morphed into a fire-breathing dragon over night. Well, after four days off because of rain. Days off and green grass will do that to a horse.
Yesterday morning I jumped on my new barrel horse, and headed for the arena, leading my husband’s head horse. About the time we hit a trot, Bosco, one of the barn cats jetted across the arena in front of us. Cisco bogged his head, bucked a few times then whirled in a complete circle. Thank goodness he doesn’t know how to buck very hard, and if we hadn’t been tethered to the big grey horse, this wouldn’t have been a problem.
Fortunately, just about the time things got dangerous, with me wrapped up in the lead rope like a Christmas present, Cisco stopped. Snake, the gray horse stood like a rock through the whole thing. Normally that would be a good thing, but with one horse spinning and the other not, you can guess what nearly happened. I managed to disentangle myself before I got into a horse-induced wreck.
Now I’m not a kid anymore. Really, I’m not. In years past, I would have ridden Cisco through the bucking, worked him on the barrels then rode for several miles more until he was tired and ready to listen. That doesn’t happen these days.
Training horses is for young people or at least, not old ones. I may not be young, but I have more than a few tricks for making the horse work harder than me. We went to the round pen, and Cisco loped circles until he was tired and I stood in the middle and watched.
Here’s Cisco, after our ride and none the worse for wear.
A young, tired horse has a different and much better attitude than a fresh one, and the rest of the day went better for both of us. Cisco is the nicest horse I’ve ever trained and that’s saying a lot. I’ve had some good ones. I’m more that happy to put up with a few spooky days from him and by the hot days of summer, he’ll be very well behaved.
Have any of you had experience riding colts in the early spring?