You know, the day where you DRAG your horse through the gate as slow as molasses, and as soon as he hears the latch drop back down in place and realizes that you've separated him from his friends... he proceeds to grow six inches and piaffe the whole way up to the barn, tail flagged, breathing fire, the whole nine yards.
ADD to that, of course, that as you're leading your piaffing monster up the driveway, all the other horses are trying to figure out what is coming to eat your horse, so they start galloping madly up and down the pastures, bucking and farting and kicking up their heels, which makes your piaffing, fire-breathing, now-17-hand- monster of a horse even MORE animated.
I decided not to ride my horses yesterday, since the footing was a little soft, and I'd ride them today after it had a chance to dry a little.
I got on Brandy first, and it was overcast and a little breezy, but not bad at all. We had a nice ride, she was a good girl, really enjoying some lateral movements and finding a nice little canter stride. I was looking forward to riding Ari next.
I had to take a break to try to figure out what was going on with my cell phone and try to get my insurance information faxed over (unsuccessfully). When I came back out, the wind was WHIPPING across the fields and the temperature dropped some 10 degrees.
At this point I'd decided I was going to ride my horse, by God, and I wasn't going to NOT ride him. So, I drove down to his pasture, put halters on him and Sam and dragged them through the gate. Cue chaos.
Sam and Ari spooked at something at the same time, and in the mayhem, I dropped Sam's lead. Lucky for me, I thought, since Sam wouldn't go anywhere and Ari would have taken off up the field 100mph.
Hardee-har-har-har. I thought I knew them so well.
Sam realizes he's FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE and goes off in a lovely passage (bad stifles, my @ss) and proceeds to catch the attention of the other goofballs turned out in the pasture he's now running free in.
While he and his four new friends we're showing off their finest upper level dressage moves, Arizona was sad that he wasn't joining in the fun and trying to rip my arm off. Added to THAT is the fact that he doesn't have a left eye. Ever try walking a piaffing monster that can't SEE you?? Ug.
I managed to get him drug through the gate and turned him out in the round pen and went back for Sam, who was glad to let me catch him after a little cat and mouse with him and Rocky and myself. I dumped him in the roundpen, muttering the whole way, reclaimed my horse and headed down the barn aisle.
So, I put Ari in cross ties and started grooming... and then the wind blew over an empty garbage can, which rolled down the aisle. Loudly. Then the garbage bag poofed out of the top of it, so it was loud and moving and swishing and coming directly at us...
Lucky for Ari, I saved his life by intercepting the garbage can and putting the big barn door down so nothing else would come after us. He seemed to relax a little and I got him tacked up without much excitement. I grabbed a longe line (I'm no dummy) and headed out to give him some play time before I got on him. He was actually pretty reserved on the longe line, so I untwisted his reins, took off the line and put my left foot in the stirrup.
As SOON as I did that... it started to rain. I looked up at the sky and pondered if this was a sign. You know, one of those days where every bit of cosmic influence is screaming "DON'T GET ON YOUR HORSE... DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200!!!" and I'm blatantly going along on my merry little way thinking "ponyponyponyponyponyponypony..."
So, I got on and headed out to the field... every time I was facing due west I thought I was going to be blown away... it was miserable. Ari was actually pretty good, but about five minutes into the ride I could tell he was getting more and more worked up, bless his little heart. I asked him to trot and he complied... and then started hollering. I can't tell you how long its been since he called in the middle of a ride... he was about as wound up as he could possibly be, but we managed to have a really decent ride. I just kept everything low key and easy- a good canter transition each way with a dozen soft, quiet, adjustable strides and thats all I asked for. A little bit of leg yield and shoulder in each way and he stayed pretty soft, round and submissive... good boy, lets go back to the barn since obviously someone doesn't want me to be ON you today for some reason.
We headed back to the barn... loose rein, both of us happy to be heading in that direction unscathed... and then the wind gusted, a tree creaked, some branches rustled... and Ari teleported about 15 feet in the other direction.
*sigh* No harm done, but goodness, what a freaking day.