So.... I did not blog at all over the weekend, mostly due to not spending a whole lot of time with the horses. However, that was due to having a rather bad attitude about going out to play/work/ride with them.
I decided, though, that I wanted to take Lady out for a ride and whether we could make a short trip without too much trouble. I mapped out a 3.6 mile route, not figuring it would be very hard at all.
I was very wrong. I had forgotten all about the fact that not a mile down the road from our property are three pastures of horse(s). And I did not anticipate the trouble it would cause. The first horse caused some trouble, but he (or she) was a good ways from the road. As soon as the second horse came into view (quite close to the road and our path, and the third and fourth horses were not far behind) things just went sour. Lady went way up on adrenaline and completely forgot I was there. I was already on the ground at this point, and even if I had stayed on her back, I doubt I could have sat the rears and bucks she handed out. She was not cooperating at all - pushing into me, reacting with rears and strikes whenever I tried to guide her in any direction. At this point, I was kind of thinking that if we got past the other horses she would calm down and we could continue our ride in a calmer fashion. And again, I was very wrong. We did get past them, but she was still in the same state, if not worse, and it didn't matter what I did. I was pretty scared now because I knew that my horse was not in a state of mind to care whether she hurt me or not. It wasn't going to work to continue on, and I knew that I couldn't lead her back. She would run me over if I was on the ground, and would bolt out of my hands if I got back on. Finally, I prayed to God to send as many angels as He could spare, and I turned my horse loose. It took her all of a millisecond to figure it out away she went. I followed on foot, terrified that she was going to get herself killed or injured, or jump into one of the horse pastures, or some other terrible thing.
Thankfully, nothing like that happened. She had some near-misses with cars on the highway and got a scrape on one leg from I don't know what, but other than that, she seems to have gone straight home and started grazing. My saddle is a bit scraped up and pretty dirty, but nothing lasting.
Yes, I blame most of what happened on myself, but quite honestly, I really don't know what I might have done differently. Maybe I should have played with her right after I got off, before we got far enough for her to fly off on adrenaline. Maybe I should not have pushed her on past the horses until she was "so far gone" that she didn't listen. Maybe I shouldn't have gone on the ride at all until we were better prepared.
Regardless, I do not want to go through that amount of terror again. I was so afraid that I would lose my horse. We definitely won't be going off the property that far for quite a while. In fact, it is going to take quite a bit of courage on my part to even try going off the property at all next time. The experience has shaken both mine and Lady's confidence pretty bad.
This evening, after a ton of thought (and a nap after all the stress of the morning), I went out and caught Lady again for a quieter session. I went a whole lot slower, trying not to pull on her or anything of that nature. We did a little bit of liberty, doing the basic 7 games, and then I put her bridle on and had a little bareback ride. It was a fairly good, and it made me feel a bit happier and not so uptight.
And.... that is all I have to say for now. Here is another older picture of Lady for your enjoyment. :)