Role Reverse! Sunday early morning, before the world woke up around my house, I saddled Harley up western (*gasp* I know, I'm a chicken that wanted the ohsh!t handle if I needed it), longed him only long enough to tighten the cinch, helmet clipped tight, and hopped on.
We didn't flex left-right, we didn't work on halts, I just sent him forward, down the road, away from home. He was awesome. A bird flapped out of the treeline, and he stopped to look. We walked down three houses, cut a U-turn, and headed back towards home. At the house, he hesitated, so I stuck a leg on him, and turned his mind towards the mailboxes.
We got through the treeline, just up to the overhead highpower e-line, and I stopped him. I wanted him to get a good look at the clearing, and at the neighbor's new swimming pool (that I remembered Romeo had a hard look at the first time he saw it). Harley glanced around, licking and chewing. Okay, then. Around the corner, and down the straight, mailboxes and paved road in sight. We got all the way to the plumber's house driveway, and he still had more "go" in him. I didn't push it. We stopped, let him have a good look 'round, and turned for home.
At the sharp corner, he stopped, and something rustled in the right-side treeline, just before the e-line. I dismounted, because I could feel Harley shaking with fear. He doesn't shake like that when he sees deer or hears deer, and I didn't need a train wreck on the dirt/gravel road. Then I heard it, a wild hog snorting, rustling through the brush. No sense in having that argument by getting back on, they're nasty monsters. I didn't know where the hog was heading, so we hand walked back to the house.
Total ride of about 40 minutes, including the hand walk. When he did startle at the hog, he didn't run off or do anything silly, but he did get scared. Cain't say I blame the little guy, I was a little startled too. Wild hogs are one of the only reasons I've considered carrying a .38 revolver on the dirt road and out on a trail. They're nasty, they can be aggressive, and sometimes hard to get away from.
Later in the evening, I hopped on Romeo in the bareback pad, jr cowhorse western bit, and headed to the arena. He was being a bit of a butthead walking to the arena, wandering around behind me, so I longed him a little in the long lead rope. Butt head. He quickly realized I wasn't in the mood for games when I picked up the longe whip. Little snot.
I hopped on. Rode walk and trot of varying lengths of stride all over the arena. Nearly 20 minutes. I was up there feeling a little proud at all we'd accomplished, and how quiet he was. FAIL! I stopped him to try & see what the neighbor's cows were doing in the distance. Without warning, and for some unknown reason, Romeo spooked, and hopped sideways about 4ft. I was so startled I didn't have time to think about falling. I wrapped both legs around him and grabbed a wad of mane. Stayed aboard, though. I looked around to see what happened, then asked him to walk on. A large grasshopper sprung from the weeds, making the chitter-chatter noise they do. Mo spooked again. That time, I stopped him hard and gave him a slap on the neck. "Okay, jerk! That's enough of that crap! Knock if off!"
For all that energy to spook at a grasshopper, it was ON! I took him down to the low circle, and we cantered circles for about ten minutes, a bit each way. Breathing hard, tired, and my legs crying for mercy, I quit. I asked him to walk and trot around the full arena, and he was more than ready to be done cantering in the evening sunshine.
Role Reversal! Harley was the quiet one, and Romeo was the nutcase. Those two.... *muttermutter* Boyz!
and yes, I had my helmet on riding Romeo bareback in his pad. doofus little fart