|Thursday March 13 2008|
Thursday morning: Connie's all ready to ride (well, after sleeping till noon)(OK, 11 AM), but the horses had other ideas. After noon and a few cups of coffee, she ventured a ways up the canyon with the dogs to get them. She got up to the horses, gave Finneas a carrot, tried to bribe them along back to the house. They followed her back to the upper gate, stopped short, and as she called them from the green gate - the one that gets shut to keep them on the acres near the house - they wheeled and ran away.
Was it the wind that made them flighty? Or did they have a discussion: "Connie's back - that means we are going to have to RIDE! RUN GUYS!"
Connie came back with the dismal horse report, and I said "I'll go get them." I used my foolproof method - a bucket of oats and the 4-wheeler: ride out there, call them, hold the bucket up in the air, Finneas comes running because he's a pig, and the rest follow. Last time I gunned the 4-wheeler all the way back with them galloping down the road behind me.
They hadn't stopped running from Connie till they were three-quarters of the way up the canyon, and on the other side of the creek, no less. They saw me in the distance, I stopped, held the oat bucket up and yelled "Hey Guys! Finneas!" which always gets them running.
They started running alright - further up the canyon! I could only stand there, completely astonished, as I realized there would be no catching the horses today unless they came back down on their own.
Back at the house Connie dejectedly took off her chaps and helmet and settled on the couch with People magazines, while the wind picked up a gale outside, and I sat still dumbstruck at the behavior of those naughty horses.
Later, we saw the horses had come back down by the green gate on their own... but not yet INSIDE the green gate. Connie ventured out with a halter, easily caught Finneas this time (with a carrot), and hopped on him, and trotted right on in with the herd. I penned them up (with oats) and ran up to shut the green gate. "That green gate is staying shut while I'm here!" Connie said. "No more chasing naughty horses up the canyon!"
She rode Finneas a bit bareback then figured she better put a saddle on him, just in case he decided to buck. It was spooky windy, and it was his first time in over 3 months, since his accident, to be ridden.
I sent her off on Finneas into the wind, (fair weather rider here) and caught them after their ride up the canyon and back.