Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Johnnie's Swimming Pool

Not too far up one of our nearby trails and down a park road, there is the nicest little swimming spot along a river. Johnnie enjoys playing in water; by which I mean, he adores blowing bubbles in it, smacking his lips in it, throwing it on other horses, and everything else you can imagine a toddler doing with fresh water on a hot day.

We play a dangerous game going there, because it is a human swimming spot favored especially by teenagers who like to hang out on the rocks and sunbathe & flirt.
And we don't want to get complained about, and therefore we don't want our horses to leave little piles on the beach. So we try to figure out who has 'gone' recently, are who might let fly at the wrong moment. Yesterday we timed it just right, as my friend's horse backed off the trail and took her opportunity, out of sight and nicely off the radar of the one young man who was sunbathing as we waded.

It was hot by our northern standards, and we had spent one full hour running around the pasture trying to catch my friend's mare, little runaway...and it took four of us that hour. This has turned into a big problem, since she can't count on any start time for any ride. And it just came out of the blue. I can't help thinking something is wrong with the horse, her situation, or her experiences being ridden...but I know my friend is a considerate rider and the horse looks perfectly sound, galloping round and round out there. And (to make it stranger) she seems fine under saddle. The only thing is that this horse sweats a lot, I mean tons. But she always has. We are trying some of the techniques mentioned by Sue, Brown-Eyed Cowgirls, and others to get her back to being caught. But meanwhile it is frustrating.

You can see some worry and care in this picture:

Tomorrow I am going with my gaited-horse friend to visit a Rocky Mountain Horse breeding and training facility in northern Wisconsin! We are psyched - we're going to load up the horses and roll out early, have a riding lesson, get some training advice, and just generally have a gaited-gals' day out! Thank goodness I only have a 2-horse trailer or I might be so sorely tempted to bring someone home, which would be the height of insanity. (Sometimes people ask me why I have 2 horses - there really is a rational explanation, well sort of - but I usually just say, "Why have even one horse? Once you're past that, it doesn't get any crazier having 2 or 5 or 14!' ha ha Just kidding...


Grey Horse Matters said...

Looks like a great spot for a swim. We had a horse once who would swim out into the Sound and once came upon a rowboat full of people and proceeded to splash them. He just loved the water.
I hope your friend figures out why her mare doesn't want to be caught. I don't know what everyone else said in the comments, but when I had a horse that used to run away, the best thing to do was just stay still and I would either have a can of grain to shake or the wrapper from a carrot bag etc... and after they thought about it for a little they would normally come over to investigate. It might be worth a try.

Flying Lily said...

I can hardly imagine what those people in the rowboat thought!! Must have been priceless.I think your stay-still strategy is a great idea, and we need to try it.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Oh boy does that look like a great swimming hole. The only thing around here are the stock dams and I am not about to go swimming in them anymore...the leaches freak me out-blagthhh.

I hope your friend's mare comes around. Nothing take the fun out of a ride like having to expend all your energy catching your horse.:(

You are so right about the numbers of horses too...they are like potato chips...you can't just have one!! I usually just tell people that by having several I never have to complain that I can't ride because my horse is lame-LOL.

Flying Lily said...

Leeches are the grossest living thing IMO...if there was the slightest prospect of getting a leech on me, I would run screaming. And yes, why stop at 1, 2, or 8 horses? LOL except for going broke.