Jan. 30th, 2007

jennyaxe: (house/wilson)
On Sunday I went out riding Melanie. This time I was accompanied by L on her 25-year old mare Ellie, and A on Melanie's brother Elliot who's eight or so. We walked along the road until we got to a nice meadow, where we first trotted a while and then took a gallop. Melanie behaved very well; she was calm on the road even when an idiot driver honked his horn at us - damned lucky none of the horses got scared! She was very good at keeping a quiet pace when trotting, and when L started galloping I had no trouble keeping Melanie at a trot for a while before I let her start galloping as well. (I did this mainly to see how well she'd listen to me and how hard it'd be to keep her back - that's a fairly good thing to know when you're out on an unfamiliar horse...)

We turned back and decided to gallop back across the meadow. This wasn't really the best idea we'd had so far - the horses knew they were headed back to the stable and their food, so they were very eager to run. L's mare was off like fired from a cannon, and I wasn't far behind. I heard later that the mare had taken the bit and refused to slow down... Melanie at least kept listening; I could slow her down, so I kept changing the pace - reining in to slow down a little, then letting her get her speed back up, a couple of times. That's when it happened. Ellie stepped on a six foot long branch that was hidden in the snow. It flew up right in front of Melanie, who naturally shied away from it - and I lost my seat and went down in the snow. Melanie kept running until she caught up with L and Ellie. I'd managed to fall well enough that I didn't hurt myself, I just was a bit winded, so I got up and walked over to L and Ellie. L got off and caught Melanie.

Looking back, A had also gotten off her horse and was walking towards us. It turned out he'd been so eager to catch up with us that he'd started bucking and jumping, and A was smart enough to get down and lead him instead of trying to stay on when he was in that mood.

We walked back towards the stable. After a while I found a stone I could use to get in the saddle from - Melanie is 170 cm high and there's no way for me to get up from the ground. A kept walking her horse, L was already back in the saddle.

So, that was my most recent adventure. Not a bad one as falls go; I'm a bit bruised but I didn't break anything. And it wasn't really Melanie's fault - anyone would get a bit scared by a big branch flying up right in your face like that. She's a good horse and I feel every bit as safe on her as I did before.

It's obvious that she hasn't had much experience of being out in the fields like this, but she has a lot of coolness and good sense and doesn't get frightened easily. She's also very affectionate - when I went to bring her in from the field, she came up to me and started nuzzling. And she whinnies if I leave her alone in the stable while fetching her saddle or something.

I still don't have a picture of her so there's no Melanie icon so far. We'll go with my other current obsession instead...

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jennyaxe

November 2016

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