Barn Tour and Blondie Gets Stuck in Reverse

Here comes Gizmo!

There was a barn tour today, put on by the local equestrian conservatory.  Our barn took part for the first time.  It was a lovely day for it, too!

I arrived a little too early, but not knowing if they needed help getting set up, I thought I'd head over and offer my assistance.  As is typical of events at the barn, the first half hour was spent standing around, blabbing with whoever happened to be in hearing range.  Tina arrived a little after that, and she handed out a sheet with  assignments on it.  I was supposed to man the info booth from 11 to 12, but ended up helping get horses ready and keeping the aisle swept clean instead.   Tina also gave me a nifty barn tour T-shirt that they had printed for the event.

D started off by working the yearling colts, and I snapped pics of anything that moved.  Then Laurie and Abby rode Ritz, and D asked if I wanted to ride Blondie to show her off.  I asked if there was anyone I could drive, as I haven't done it since Ludington.  He told me to get Blondie ready, and after, I could drive Harley, too.  I didn't even realize that Harley drove!  I was really excited to take him for a spin.

Rachel helped me with Blondie, and I hopped in the buggy. Blondie was walking nicely, but at the far, scary end of the arena, she put on the brakes and went into reverse.  Fast!  I clucked and used the whip to get her going forward, but she was stuck in reverse!  She ended up slipping and sitting in the dirt, which popped me up and out of the seat.  D told me don't get out, stay put, and I sat back on the seat.  My stupid horse then got up and started walking forward.  She had a brain freeze one other time, when I asked her walk.  She started doing the same thing again.  D told me to just let her trot.

We headed out to outdoor ring, and she walked very nicely across the driveway.  Once in the ring, I asked for a trot, and I didn't let her walk again until we were finished.  Later, D said that I did everything correctly when she started backing up, and he said that if that didn't work, I could also try a firm "whoa!", which I never even thought of.  He said it's been a while since she's been hooked to the buggy, and that's probably what the problem was.  I talked to M about it later, and she said that Lily actually reared up at one of the shows and fell onto her side, and about 5 people jumped on top of her to keep her down so they could undo the harness before she hurt herself or broke the buggy. That sounded scary!

After Harley's pedicure was finished, Rachel helped me get him ready to drive.  We hooked him up, and D followed us out to the outdoor ring.  Harley was a perfect boy!  He's so easy to drive!  He seems to really like it, too, because I didn't have to nag him to keep trotting like when I ride him.  He kept a steady pace, and when I asked him to walk, he flat-walked, without his usual jig. Harley is a god amongst horses, and I hope that everyone gets to learn from a horse as wonderful as he.

I left the barn shortly after, and headed back to the reality of my mundane little life.  The grocery store was calling, so off I went to restock the cupboards. 

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