No kidding.. Almost as if he'd never seen a cow or a calf before, Ransom became so entirely focused on them, it in fact quite ruined our ride. With all the good that has happened lately, it seemed only natural something would go wrong. Let me explain..
Grabbed Ransom after work (before his supper), got tacked up dressage, and headed to the arena. After a very brief warmup, I hopped on, admitting it was quite hot out. We rode all three gaits, and in fact did some solid canter work in circles around various spots in the arena. Quite sensational, actually.
Then the calf came. Stupid naughty rotten ... anyways... The neighbor's dogs had cornered a calf and were chasing it, barking their stoopid heads off at the calf. I had my headphones & music going, so I didn't think much of it. The calf and the dogs parted company, calf standing stoopid in the pasture. No big deal. Ransom started to stare, but was quickly refocused with counterbending on the circle at walk.
Then the calf ran, and ran, straight back to its momma. Recognizing this, I let Ransom watch a little... Calf latched on to Momma for a snack, and it pretty much exploded from there.
Ransom wanted to do nothing but pop his head up, hollow out his back, and watch calf & momma. No amount of counterbending, or walking in various directions was going to change his mind. I even tried letting him look a bit, hoping to calm his worry.
Hopped off, let the lunge whip guide him in a working canter around the arena.
Got back on, he was the same goofy nut.
Hopped off again, repeat lunge whip & working canter.
Got back on, when he proceeded the "I jig or I jog, but mom, I don't stand still, so TPHT to you!"
Hopped off (horse still in motion) at this point nervous
Tried removing the bridle, and unfortunately, left the reins around his neck. Big BooBoo.
Ransom took off, at a gallop, bridle reins attached around his neck, bridle dangling below his feet.
When he finally stopped, the bridle was tore apart, but he was virtually uninjured in the incident (appeared to have one scrape on him, which cleaned up hosing him down). I got him caught, handwalked a while, and took him back to the trailer to unsaddle. By then, the calf & momma were long gone (and I'm sure having a good laugh with all the other cows in the herd). Ransom was a hot, sweaty, frothy, MESS.
Took well over an hour to get him cooled down, hosing combined with standing tied.
Certainly not one of our better rides. Need to replace broken bridle part, and find a way to convince him calves don't bite.
Total work, including the train wreck, about an hour. Not what I wanted to start off my vacation.. and something to work on later.