Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Ride Her! Ride Her!"


There are just some days you're kinda glad there wasn't a video camera around, you know? Today was one of those days. I'd actually considered handing the old cowboy my camera, since yesterday's ride had gone so smoothly, but something stopped me. He probably wouldn't want to be hanging onto that while helping me, anyway.

As it turns out, he may have dumped it in the dirt, and Tika may likely have stomped it on her way across the round pen. Because today Tika did what I was afraid Tika might do. She hit the panic button.

"Ride her! Ride her!"

"Whoa!" (me)

"Whoa!" (Cowboy)

Do you know how long an 8 second ride is? Me either. No one clocked us. Not that she bucked, because Tika doesn't do that (much.) She simply dashed as quickly as she could, looking for a way out of whatever mess she suddenly thought she was in.

Curt had showed up at the round pen far sooner than usual. Typically I had ten minutes to lunge Tika and get the jitters out of her. But the last couple of rides we only worked half that time, and yesterday was such a good day. So relaxed, just walking and trotting, head lower and no real speed. We opted not to lope since she was listening and so quiet. So when Curt showed up and said, "She'll be okay,", I went ahead and climbed on.

And she was okay, really...except Curt was holding a coffee cup in his hand, and she didn't like him walking up to her with it because it was different than usual. He hid it behind his back and stood alongside her as I mounted, and it was business as usual. Then Curt did something totally foreign to Tika, and he stood off to the side along the wall so that we had room to do a few figure 8s.

Tika was unsure. He wasn't where he was supposed to be, and again with the cup! What was up with the cup? She didn't know, and she didn't care. I got a couple of circles in when something sparked in her mind, and we were off to the races where I could hear Curt's voice hollering at me over the sudden drumming of hoofbeats on the round pen floor.

I kept my hands low, grabbing that glorious mane, in an attempt not to snatch at her mouth and make things worse. She darted quickly around the pen in a mad dash, and at one point I wondered if she bucked, but I think it was more of a bounce, the kind you'd see a frisky lamb or bounding deer do. All four legs like pogo sticks, elevating the body upward. She did that only once, and at some point Curt had managed to get off the rail and was again in the center of the round pen, stepping in front of her in an effort to stop or turn her.

She elected to turn. At least twice, maybe three times. Turn and burn, dash 38' to the other side, slam on the brakes, turn and burn again. I tried to keep my body loose, but each time she stopped, I felt myself moving forward like a crash test dummy. Both Curt and I hollered whoa a couple of times, and eventually the ride came to an end, with Tika heaving and wondering what the heck had happened. I'd love to be able to tell her, but I really don't know. And the cowboy just figures it was the coffee cup, "She notices everything."

Once the fun was over, we went back to walking and trotting and getting her mind back into some sort of order. When she relaxed, we called it good. And here I was just thinking she may be ready to come home. Not sure about that now!


GunDiva said...

Even Tika knows coffee's not good for you :)

Sorry you had such an exciting ride today, but glad you were able to end it on a relaxed (for her) note.

Shirley said...

Whew! Adrenalin rush! What a good girl for not bucking. This is exactly what I expect Chickory to do once I get to riding her again. She's ok at the walk and trot but loping will be a new adventure.

Dom said...

Scary! Glad you're ok.

Linda said...

It's amazing you stayed on. That was probably pretty smart to grab mane rather than yanking on her mouth. Sounds like your survival instinct kicked in. You're very brave, Tracey!

MyShilohRanch said...

Holey moley, Tracey! Adrenaline rush, indeed! Woo hoo, you rode her right on through that panic ... GOOD for both of you ... kudos to you mostly, Tracey ... great job! Tika will have more confidence in you, for getting her through that "horror." Sounds like she needs a little mixin' it up in her workouts ... who would have thunk to introduce coffee cups??? That had to be scary for you too, I would definitely have been shaking in my boots! Glad it turned out well too. <3

Kate said...

Wow - scary - glad you were able to stay relaxed enough to stay on. And glad she calmed down after.

Jeni said...

... and the god news is.. you stuck with her, tried to be relaxed and not as panicked as she was. It was a good experience for her =)

redhorse said...

It's never the first ride, is it? But it sure gets your heart pounding.
I'm glad you got through it. She should be better the next time.

Crystal said...

Wow she sure knows how to keep you alert! Good going on staying calm, sometimes it makes a difference in later rides cause now shes been scared and knows she can deal with it without anything bad happening, but wow scary!

Rising Rainbow said...

Oh my, I'm imagining those turns and wondering how you stayed on. I'm glad you're all right and that Tika is too. You know I've been told that I have guts but I'm thinking not nearly as much as you. LOL