Harley was backing away from me, his distance from the edge of the river increasing with every hop. I held the rope as long as I could...
Then I had no choice but to let go. Off he went, turned tail and went across the river.
My show horse.
In the public city park.
Me, splashing through the river on foot, trying to catch him.
Screaming at R to help, at the absolute top of my lungs.
which, on reflection, pisses me off nobody else came to see what the ruckus was about
Harley crossed water as deep as his belly.
And I walked.
And I .. Splash!
I lost my footing.
I had to SWIM after him.
Harley at this point is still in the river, opposite bank from where we started.
He got to the bank, and started to walk back UP stream.
whew,, now I might actually stand a chance to catch the snarly monster.
I'm still hollering "whoa Harley" at this point, in case anybody thought I was just trying to use facial expressions.
I caught the tip of the rope.
And he went BACK in the water.
I held on just long enough to get pulled off my feet again, and nearly face-plant in the river.
There was R, standing at the other bank.
And there went Harley, straight across the river.
Almost straight to R. In fact, a few feet away.
Harley turned to go back down the bank, only to find he was cut off by the brush.
R walked up to him, grabbed the lead rope right up by the halter.
By now, I'm about 20' away from them.
R starts walking H away from the water's edge.
I hollered, "Oh NO YOU DON'T. I did all that chasing, he's darn sure going to pay for it. Don't Move!"
I walked up to Harley, backed him up off the rope a little.
Then I walked him right back over to the river, and we started over. A few walk throughs, and I brought him back up to the gravel edge.
R says to me, "You wanna saddle him and make him carry you after all that work he had you do chasing him?"
I replied, "Oh h&ll no. I can't even breathe still. We're loading up and going home. That's enough chaos for one river trip."
R smiled. "Well, there's at least one bright spot here..
wait for it, folks... wait for it ...
At least he isn't scared of moving water!"
No horses, or humans, were injured during the making of this event, or the retelling of it. I'm almost laughing about what happened. Did I think he'd get caught eventually? Yes. Did I think it'd take me that long? No. Was I terrified I'd be calling my equine insurance provider with a claim? You bet'cha. Are we going back to the river next weekend? No way in H&ll.