Yes, this is the most exciting thing I have to talk about currently. Jason has an archery tournament all weekend, so he’s been not interested in working on the wall in the barn. Apparently his back was sore for three days after taking down the first half, so my barn is still kind of a death trap for horses.
My goobers aren’t currently allowed in here, however, I did bring Paige in last night to tack her up before putting her on the trailer. Whatttt? I hear you, you’re wondering if I’m one of those people who hauls tacked up horses to rides. Nope. Not me. First of all trail riding makes me nervous as crap. Paige may very well fix that in the future, but as of last night, I still get the butterflies about riding without a fence safely enclosing me. And second, I would never sacrifice the Billy Cook to the uncertainties of the back of the trailer.
So why was I tacking up Paige to put her on the trailer? Because my trailer is stored in the hay barn on the lower portion of the farm. I led Copper up the hill when we brought him home from G’s, and was super out of breath when we got to the top of the hill, but my stamina isn’t the reason for the riding vs. leading decision.
You see, I led Copper up in November, so there was no long grass to compete with. Luckily my bestie lives in the apartment at the foot of the hill, so I texted her and asked how tall the grass was, and she supplied this photo for evidence. I don’t know about you guys, but my newsfeed on facebook has been full of ticks. Ticks on a lint roller, ticks in a jar, ticks stuck to a kid, ticks stuck to a dog. (Dr Seuss could’ve really done something here guys!) Nope, no thanks, I don’t want any of that. So the obvious solution is to bring the trailer to Paige, right? Well. we are beginners with the trailer pulling, and our driveway is tight and offers
little no room to turn around without taking the scenic tour of the farm and driving through two fields to turn around. One day, I would really like to devise a trailer turn around area up at the barn, but until then, I’m grateful to have the lower part of the farm to navigate around.
So my other option was to ride Paige down. Of my three wahoos, she’s definitely the one I would feel the most comfortable with riding out random places. So I debated two routes to the trailer from the barn. Route one is through my brother’s yard and down the hill behind the apartments to the trailer. It was the most direct route. The other route was through my brother’s yard, through a gate, down giant hill in field with cows, through another gate, and to the trailer. I’d told Jason that I was taking the route through the cow field since the fence would be nice if somehow I came of and she went running like a crazy. I prefer confined crazy horses, not crazy horses with access to road front. The more I considered it during the day I realized that Paige isn’t particularly crazy, and that if the crazy got to her, she would most likely turn and run back up the hill towards the other horses, not towards the road. So I got over my own crazy and rode her the direct route.
Shortest ride ever. It took less than five minutes between mounting in my brother’s yard and dismounting at the back of the trailer. When I led her through the gate into the yard, she was curious, but I rode her in the yard once when I first got her to see how willing she was to putter around away from the herd and walk on unfamiliar surfaces (there’s a brick sidewalk). She was more nervous this time, possibly because I didn’t ride her any in the field before crawling on. She was already tired the last time that she was ridden out in the yard, but by the time I remembered that detail, I was on her and we were power walking towards the hill. I was most concerned about an area between the yard and the hill where we cut down some pine trees. The grass was so tall that I couldn’t see the stumps, and lord knows Paige wasn’t looking where she was going. The big piglet was grabbing long pieces of grass by the mouthful! In her defense, they were at her face height, so the temptation was obviously just too much for her. Once we were past the possibility of tripping over tree stumps I relaxed a little because she was being good, not even neighing back to the others. The grass buffet helped. When we got through the little wooded part and she saw the apartments, she was more looky. I was just hoping that my friend’s cat didn’t jump around a corner at her, because she was looking for something to spook at. I steered her right towards the mowed grass behind the apartments to take her to the trailer, and she pulled left,
as if interested in the rest of the farm sad about losing the ability to grab accessible snacks.
When we got to the trailer, I dismounted and lead her to the front of the truck to get Jason’s attention. He’d been looking for me to come down through the hay field. Jason held her while I untacked her. She’s such a good mare. Her friends were way out of sight and she was in an unfamiliar place and she stood quietly while I put my tack in the back of the truck. No neighing, pawing or silliness. She just stood with Jason and looked around. Probably noticing how much grass the cows have and cussing me for putting her on a diet. Poor fatty.
Well, she wasn’t interested in getting on the trailer. In her strongest mare voice, she said no. She’d put two feet on the trailer, then reel backwards. There was lots of eye rolling from me. After asking her nicely for a while, I had Jason motivate her from behind, but she wasn’t scared of him. I even tried bribing her with hay. I then had an AHA moment and handed her to Jason and got a rein off of my bridle. Paige hates the poppers on the end of my woven reins. If they accidentally hit her when I’m riding her, she jumps into a higher gear. I gave Jason the rein and told him to smack her butt with it and see what happened. Jason isn’t a horse person, and is much more gentle with them than I would be in most cases, so his version of smacking her with the popper wasn’t remotely aggressive. It was actually kind of comically nonchalant. After he smacked her the second time, she got on. Paige really hates poppers.
Once we got her loaded, things went well. We only went down three wrong roads on the way to the vet’s farm. I’d been warned that everyone gets lost on the way out there, but that didn’t make turning the trailer around in the middle of nowhere any more fun.
So we stopped at Chili’s on the way home to stuff our faces. Luckily it was beside a Walmart, so the parking was accommodating. We got home around 10 pm and fell into bed. Now to wait a week or so and do it again.