I’ve taken it easy on Zelda the past few days. She hadn’t been ridden for five or six weeks and she spent 13 hours on the trailer to get here. She has impressed me with her laid back attitude and good humor.
Today she gave me a glimpse of how athletic she is. I took her on a trail ride with two barn mates. I had her in back since I’m not sure about her tolerance for horses coming up behind her and her hind feet are the size of dinner plates.
Everything was going fine. We were meandering along . . . until the horses in front started to trot. Zelda let out a squeal and proceeded to buck. Fourteen hundred or so pounds of buck. And let me tell you, when you’re riding her, you feel very far from the ground.
I don’t ride mares that often and I’ve never had a gelding that squealed like that. Freedom wouldn’t be caught dead making a girlie sound like that. It really made me laugh. Come to think of it, Freedom doesn’t buck like that either. He’s more of bounce in place kind of guy. Zelda likes to shake her head and neck then let fly with a buck or two.
So I reset her back on her butt and we tried again. Sure enough, she squealed and bucked again. I think that spurs are in her future.
I moved her up front and she was in her element. This horse is a leader! She was trotting merrily along until we came to a tiny stream. That stopped her dead in her tracks and made her reconsider the wisdom of following her friends.
It also made me reconsider the wisdom of taking her on a hunt trail ride tomorrow. I think we need some wet saddle blanket therapy and a few more miles under our respective belts before I turn her loose in a crowd. Did I mention it’s a long way to the ground? She’s obviously athletic — I just need to channel that ability toward something more productive.