Ride at your own risk

I was out on the trails today with Conte and I’m proud to report I’ve made it back alive and with only minor bruising. The trails out here suck. That’s as plain and simple as I can make it. They run along a barbed wire and chain link fence along a cement river between neighborhoods and under freeways. Not tranquil. I took him out alone and our first hiccup happened when a large water truck was running back and forth along the arena of a nearby ranch. I was loud and big and bright and that is the horses’ natural predator as far as they are concerned. It took all of my strength to keep him from bolting. Then we went through a narrow part that feels like a scaled down ravine and he didn’t like that either. Then we hit a bridge I’ve never crossed before because it scares me. It looks like something that belongs on an Indiana Jones set that is specially designed to break apart with just a little pressure. It was rust colored and perilous. The sign in front said ride at your own risk. Six horses maximum weight. I looked down at the shallow little cement river rushing beneath and thought there wasn’t much cushioning there if we went down. I held my breath and urged him forward. 

Things horses don’t like: Hollow sounds underneath them. Creaking and groaning. Being alone. Sudden movements.

Things Conte was dealing with all at once: All of the above. Oh yeah. And bouncing. He got nervous and started prancing and it made the bridge shake and sent waves of motion through it to both ends as if it were made of rubber. The motion hit the ends of both sides and then came back towards us. He in turn got more anxious and pranced higher. This caused more motion. More groaning and squeaking. The horse had so much nervous energy going through him he was practically vibrating. You don’t realize how powerful they are until they make your life flash before your eyes. I imagined him trying to climb over the sides. Bucking me off and sending me flying over the sides. Side slamming the sides. Rearing up and tipping over the sides. It was too narrow to turn around and we were in the middle by then anyway.

We got through and then I was stuck with the task of getting him back over it later. By then he was so strung out that even a shift in the saddle would make him jump. We had some rears and crow hop bucks. We laughed. We cried. I was half way back to the ranch when the giant yellow tractor came out of nowhere. This one definitely was a horse eating tractor. It had jaws. It was coming right at him and gaining speed. He backed into the barbed wire fence. I decided I was done fighting and would just hand walk him until we got past it and calmed down. He threw me at the last minute. He bolted when I still had one foot in the stirrup on the way down. Only one side of me is bruised. 

If you’re wondering why I keep my horse I can’t give you a good answer. Guilt. Love. Steadfast will. It’s still cheaper than a coke habit. Who knows. 

If you’re wondering why I’m talking about my horse on Mike’s site it’s because nothing else of interest has happened lately.

But he can’t say I didn’t post today.  

24680cookie-checkRide at your own risk

Ride at your own risk

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