Friday, January 24, 2014

The Wild, Windy Day

Yesterday, it was windy with clumps of snow blowing from an ashy, gray sky. The horses could feel the change and were tossing their manes and snorting like mustangs on the endless plains. My son and I were tired and our addled brains thought foolishly that we would have a calm and easy ride, then call it quits for the day, not realizing our herd had other ideas. We wanted to pony our two race horses, Flash and Sky. Sky was willing to come to us, figuring she was going to get a little grain. Flash, on the other hand, peeled his ears back, weaved then disappeared amongst the other horses, clearly saying no to any work today.

We got on Copper, a chestnut gelding, and our grey stallion, Rocko, figuring we would catch Flash on horse back. Copper was sharp, raring to go. He loves a good chase, far more than the tediousness of doing equitation in the ring. Rocko was as tightly coiled as a spring. He didn't allow a saddle to be put on his back, slipping from his halter and giving us a merry run. My son mounted him and he attempted to buck. When we finally got down to business, Rocko thundered across the field after Flash like a war mount.

After forty minutes, we caught Flash, who by then had swept the rest of the herd up into his antics and caused them to explode with excitement. They bucked, reared and kicked, having a merry time. While I was opening the gates to the other pastures, my son and I realized the main gate to the horses' pasture had been blown open by the wind. My son yelled, "The gate is open!" I heard him. Unfortunately, the whole herd did also. They heard "open" and "gate", looked up and bolted toward it. When they reached the entrance, they spilled out and galloped across the snowy lawn.

Luckily, our whole property is fenced in or we would have a mass of horses flying down the road. After another forty minutes of wild chasing, we got all of them back in the pastures. While I attempted to shut the pasture gate, which was jammed in an icy snow drift, Hidalgo, a clever, little, Spanish mustang, saw his opportunity. My son yelled and sprinted toward the gate, still on Rocko, hoping to drive Hidalgo back. The race was on. The mustang beat the stallion by a hair. Another thirty minutes of chasing ensued.

After everyone was safely back, my son and I rubbed our freezing arms. When we were thawing in the warm house, we eventually started to laugh. Never say you are going to have a quick and easy ride with horses.

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