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!"
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!