Arizona’s Two Hour Walk And My Near-Fall

I’m sorry blog for I have neglected. It’s been two months since my last entry. I’m back and ready to write about my latest adventure with my Zoni Poni.

Yesterday, neighboring barn buddy Erika and I took Arizona and Whiskey out for a ride around the county roads. We met up at the field short cut between our barns and then continued down a ways, finally stopping at an off-road made of dirt that intersected the two roads. The ditch between us and the road was full of water and instead of going around it I coaxed Arizona through it. The silly horse will plunge into the ocean as far as I’ll let her but balk at a small pool of water on the ground. It was no matter in the end though as she tromped through it like a champ. Whiskey girl didn’t like it at first either but then she too was through it.

We had our share of dogs that day and I myself noticed more than the usual handful. I know which houses has them but some don’t always come out, and I guess I didn’t know just how many each one has. Seriously, each property has at least 3-6 dogs and there are at least 10 houses I consistently pass by. Only 1 or 2 of those properties have their dogs contained in some way so they always come up barking their best at Arizona who usually just flicks an ear and walks on by. Sometimes though if they come up too fast from the side she’ll spook but that didn’t really happen this time.

A while back I wrote an entry about a particular ride during which Arizona spooked pretty bad at the very end, at the property next to ours, when their dog – whom Arizona knows very well – ran up at us from the side. The dog was running fast and took me by surprise too so I don’t blame her but anyway, I digress. This time Arizona spooked in darn near the same spot only there was nothing to spook at! I am not even sure what to call it. I think she skirted to the side and then hopped, because all I can really remember is flying up from my seat, gripping with my legs and losing the reins. I felt myself fall a little to the left and up I went, and it’s funny my thought process had already worked through me landing on the ground and I’d accepted my fate, but it didn’t happen. I didn’t grab the horn but I reached for her mane/neck instead for bracing I guess and on I stayed. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to falling off since I dropped off that bucking pony when I was 8ish… I feel like I don’t know how I stayed on but then again I do think I’m not giving myself enough credit. I’ve always been good about sitting spooks – *knock on wood* – and I think this was just another reflection of decent balance. (Thanks, mom!)

What’s funny is I did just take my feet out of the stirrups and let my legs hang because they were seriously cramped by then, just a few strides before she did that. So not only did I drop the reins by accident I had zero support from my stirrups. It’s not like she ever spooks at stray/dangling tack in saddle or on the ground so I’d be hard-pressed to believe that’s what did ALL THAT. They weren’t even flopping around her sides at the slow walk she was doing. It just makes me laugh (I’m glad I can laugh about it) that the moment I try to relax a bit on the final few yards home all that happens.

Riding Arizona 12-14-2014

Just past the mailboxes there on the right is where it happened both times. To further desensitize her to that area I will probably hand-lead her up and down the road a few times and then ride up and down the road a few more.

All in all it was a great ride. Two hours from mount to dismount and I’m beyond saddle sore today but it always makes me proud. I get to take my horse out and enjoy a breezy Sunday almost every week and she always takes care of me. I’ll take the sore!