The past month has been riddled with anxiety from many different sources. Work has been ridiculously stressful, my horse has been lame (more about that in a couple days), I haven’t ridden in weeks, and I’ve been settling into a new life routine at the barn. I am not the most social person to start with, but when the pressure starts building I tend to withdraw even more into my shell, which… I can admit isn’t always the healthiest coping mechanism.
I haven’t had a horsey play day in months, but this past weekend our group was planning a Sunday Funday at Pine Hill. Henry obviously couldn’t go but I had the idea to take Presto just to give him some travel miles, although was pretty on the fence about it until Hillary gave me that last little push and convinced me. Turns out she was right, I needed a horsey day and some time talking to horsey friends, plus Presto really delivered on the entertainment factor.
Hillary swooped by and picked us up in the morning, and I loaded Presto onto her trailer with her 3yo mare Luna. And then immediately realized that the combined age of the horses in the trailer was FIVE, and therefore me and Hillary are clearly gluttons for punishment. But the kiddos were fast friends and the trip to Pine Hill was uneventful.
Of course riding in the trailer for an hour and half meant that Luna was now THE BEST FRIEND HE’S EVER HAD, so there was initially a lot of screaming. I did some lunging sporadically, since moving the feet always helps the brain, and while he stayed Very Excited To Be Here throughout the day, he did settle in. I led him around the facility with the group, letting Presto hang out and watch the other horses jump.
When we made our way through the woods and back around to the water, I walked him up to the edge and let him get a look. He immediately took a long drink and then – very abruptly and catching me totally off guard – he zipped into the water, dragging me with him, and plopped down to roll. This little shit. I was halfway in the water jump, boots now soaked, trying to get him up. Everyone found that to be quite hilarious.
I managed to pull him out, then led him around the other side to attempt a more polite and proper walk through the edge of the water. YEAH NO. THAT’S NOT WHAT HAPPENED. But at least this time someone was ready to video…
Oh my god, y’all. I’ve never been deep sea fishing but I can imagine that’s what it’s like having a shark on the line. He tried his damndest to drag me in and roll again, but I managed to win that battle. I mean, I’m glad he’s not worried about water, but lord. I am 100% going to end up taking a bath in a water jump one day. It’s like you get him anywhere near it and he’s gotta stop drop and roll as if he’s on fire.
After the group wound down, I found a group of little baby Starter fences that I could lunge him over. Last time he was here he jumped a log and a coop, so this time I wanted to find some different jumps to see what he thought. After his little display at the water I thought he might be a amped and enthusiastic, but yeah… no.
Since I haven’t lunged him over a jump in ages, first we went for a little teeny tiny baby box. Which he… trotted over. That clearly wasn’t exciting in the least. So I thought I’d be really clever and take him over to the Beginner Novice faux ditch, which has caused many a green horse a lot of issues in it’s day. He did actually take a canter step over that one, but that’s literally all it was, a canter step. Didn’t even have the decency to look down at it and act like he gave a shit about the horse-eating mulch.
Ok fine, lets go over to the ramp, never seen one of those before! Same reaction. Complete and utter boredom. Hmmph. Ok, so maybe the brush jump will be enough to elicit at least an EFFORT from him then? Definitely never jumped brush, and it had more height and dimension to it.
Nope. Again, just loped right over then stopped and looked at me like I was literally the biggest walking waste of time he’d ever met.
Good news – the horse is not at all worried or unsure about any of this. Bad news – he is boring AF. I mean really, he couldn’t even sorta overjump one of them and give me a good screenshot? No, no he could not. He wants to wallow in the water like a hippo and really doesn’t care about much else.
Hopefully by the next time we head to Pine Hill he’ll be rideable and I can hack him around instead of leading him. I just… dunno how I’m gonna stop him from swimming…