To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Adventures, good and bad

Sunday afternoon Kate and her daughter picked Lance and me up for a lovely trail ride at Willamette Mission State Park. Lance was good as gold, my usual solid trail buddy. (I did dismount once when he stopped and tensed over an approaching pair of riders; led him past, remounted, and we carried on.) Afterwards we hosed off the horses, then let them graze awhile in the shade (it was quite warm) and I, of course, snapped pictures.

Finally Kate said, "Give me your camera."

I dislike being the subject, but it is nice to have photos of me and my mustang. :-)

That was our good adventure. The next day brought adventure of another kind!

We turned the horses out in the upper pasture for their hour or two of grazing Monday afternoon. Just before we needed to leave for town, I sent Brian out to catch them and put them back in the barn. "Ha ha!" the horses laughed, moving further uphill. The upper pasture is L-shaped, and so far this season they've grazed so greedily that they had never moved out of the lower end. When I went out to catch them, they started loping away from me towards the north end of the pasture (the top of the "L"). Their ears perked up; the open vista in front of them was new! There used to be a wall of evergreens there; whee! They sped up – and my heart clenched. The grass is taller than our perimeter fence, so they couldn't see it. I waited for them to slam on the brakes or swerve. There was a momentary hesitation – then they were galloping across the logged lot, a mine field of uneven ground and leg traps from where stumps were grubbed out by the trackhoe! I ran after them, praying all the way. A T-post was bent over, the woven wire fencing loose from the post but still intact. How had they gotten through/over it? Were either of them cut? By this time the horses were thundering downhill, and I wondered if they would go through the fence at the bottom of the logged lot. They emerged from a cloud of dust, galloping back towards me, then swerving away. I hollered at Brian to open our driveway gate, hoping they would run towards home and not toward the winery and paved road. Thankfully they stopped at a patch of grass, and eventually allowed me to catch them. Whew! And by the grace of God, both horses were FINE, if a bit winded. I couldn't even find a scratch from the fence on either of them. So thankful that the only bad part of that adventure was the stress and gray hairs on my part!

Yesterday I put the horses in the middle pasture (also L-shaped). Still plenty of grass, but it's shorter near our perimeter fence. You can see the logged lot beyond Lance and our fence line, if not their naughty hoofprints. ;-)


Theresa said...

We've had a few fence failures here. The worst was when we had five horses and got a call that they were a few miles up the road grazing on someone's back 40. The two now escape occasionally and head up into the forest a bit and usually come back to graze around the house. In any event, sometimes it just feels like they are all heart attacks on hooves.

emma said...

Yikes glad they were ok! Love the pics tho!

A :-) said...

Never a dull moment, is there? So glad all is well :-)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I LOVE those photos...especially that last one of you and the mustang. That should be framed :)