I hadn't yet gotten around to my planned ride Sunday when my neighbor friend called and asked if I wanted to go for a brisk walk around nearby Willamette Mission State Park. I'll admit to briefly wondering if she'd mind me riding Lance while she walked, but thought better of asking. ;-)
It was a little hard to see how many people DID show up at the park with horses!
When I got home I saddled up and Lance and I headed to the arena for a little schooling session. For "dessert," we headed out the gate for a road/off-road ride in the soft evening air. We took a different route than last week's outings, riding beside the paved road for part of it. I opted for the side with a broad, disced field rather than the narrow, hole-pocked margin between pavement and fence. Good thing, too, because Lance took exception to a pick-up that passed us, bolting and bucking for a brief instant before settling down again (mostly).
He was sweaty when we got back to the barn, so I hosed him off before turning him out for his daily grazing. He took a few bites of grass, then found the only dirt in the pasture to roll in – which, unfortunately was right next to the arena fence (see arrow). As I stood there powerless to stop him, he rolled completely over, legs to and through the panels. Terrified of what could happen should he struggle and panic, I raced to his side while screaming for help, hoping Rick or Brian would hear me in the house. No luck there, OR with looping the lead rope around a back foot and trying to pull him back over to his other side. I put the halter on his head and tried to pull him perpendicular to the fence, but there was no chance of me having much affect on his considerable frame. I felt desperate – and helpless. Thankfully, Lance didn't thrash much. Finally, after I decided to sprint closer to the house to roust Rick, Lance managed to push himself away from the fence enough to get up. I couldn't find a scratch on him, although for a short time he really favored his left hind leg. He was caked with mud, so I led him back to the barn, hosed him off a second time, then lead him out into the MIDDLE of the grass before removing his halter. There were no further incidents, and my heart recovered.
Lance did cough some when we picked up the trot in our warm-up, so Rick gave him a second Eqstim shot Monday morning.
To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.