Opie has Been Places. He is Worldly.
|just hanging out munching on hay like a calm horse|
He is a complete asshole about the fucking trailer again. Only now instead of getting onto the trailer a hundred times and flying off it ninety nine times, he just doesn't get on anymore. Which is awesome.
P.S. It is not awesome.
We spent thirty minutes in the parking lot of the barn having ourselves a go-round. He thought it was acceptable to park it at the base of the ramp and stare out into the distance completely ignoring me. I did not. He thought the answer to my prompts to move his feet was to rear in my face. I did not. Eventually I won because I always win, and I hope one day that sinks into his little brain and we avoid further go-rounds.
He unloaded quietly at the park though, and got right to work on his hay without moving a muscle or making a peep. He stood completely still while I mounted, and then marched off across the road and into the woods without complaint.
|so happy the green is finally back!|
I really want to ramp up his fitness so he has less of an excuse to try to die on me by the time his second test rolls around. Of course, I think if he could calm himself at the trailer at shows that would keep him going awhile longer, too. Because I don't think Farrier's theory that he's running through his tests to practice and I shouldn't judge him holds merit.
With that in mind, I skipped the big open fields we usually ride in and committed to the woods. I never explored those trails much with Bobby because the side of the road with the fields has several water access points and one must keep hippos happy. The woods are super hilly with narrow trails that range from well kept to jutting roots or stretches of gravel. They're great for walking and building up booties, though!
|that mane has no self control.|
Because I'm not familiar with the woods trails, I picked a color to follow and set out to explore figuring if all else fails I could just find the road and go somewhere else. We went up and around, passed the ranger station, passed a bunch of joggers, leaped straight into the air and magically landed in the exact same spot when a snake slithered underfoot (that was actually kind of spectacular), and eventually got dumped into a clearing with a giant abandoned silo (?) on top of a mountain.
|no but seriously. what is this doing here?|
For something so enormous, it appeared out of nowhere and Opie was all, DA FUQ. And then I pulled my phone out to take a picture but dropped it and Opie was confirmed in his belief that this clearing was haunted. I hopped off, grabbed my phone, took my picture, and climbed back on.
There was a janky trail on the other side that started heading down and had our color marker so I figured I might as well see where it took us. The trail promptly narrowed to human-width with roots and stones sticking out everywhere and giant drops on either side. Opie was puffing a bit from hauling my ass up to the haunted clearing, so I did him a solid and jumped back off again. He's young, he's not super fit, and he's not super confident in his footing yet. It wasn't the best trail to force him to pack me down.
|this. on both sides of a glorified deer trail.|
He plodded along beside me without issue as we went up and down and up and down while I tried to get some sense of where the fuck we were. At one point I glimpsed the road but it was at the bottom of one of the above hills so on we walked.
|going places. i just don't know what places.|
We finally hit a cross-trail that I recognized from riding Bobby, except I recognized it because I knew I didn't want to go that way because it would take us deeper into the woods. So I went with opposite way and hoped it would dump us back onto a more mainstream trail. Fortunately it did and we soon blasted out onto the road amidst a bike race which we had to wait to pass before giving the woods the finger and heading into the fields to make for the boat launch.
I let him splash around for awhile to cool off before we finally headed back to the trailer.
|does love a good dip in the pond|
He hadn't jigged, thrown his head, or called out once the whole ride. We trotted, we cantered, I ground mounted multiple times, and he stayed relaxed and on the buckle for all of it. I figured our time had come when we emerged into the field by the trailer parking and there were multiple horses hanging out. His head went up and he got a little tight, but he was quiet and flat footed all the way back. Good kid!
The group of ladies with the horses came over to fawn over Dopie while I got him untacked and wrapped and told me how adorable and perfect he was. I was like, "I know, right? Seems suspicious..."
And then the battle to get back on the fucking trailer began. He was adamant he was going to stay with his new horse friends and kept trying to pull his "sneaky" move where he flails violently sideways in the exact direction he wants to end up like I won't notice. I was insistent he pay zero attention to the other horses which earned me a lot more rearing, but sad fucking story.
|"i love you, new best friends. i'll never leave you."|
After maybe fifteen minutes I won again and got him on.
I guess I'm just not understanding where this is coming from. I got him on and off by myself the first attempts without issue for the first show at the beginning of the month. I had Hubby with me the second show, but he walked right on first try both times and stood while he got locked in. I don't know why he now suddenly thinks planting his feet and saying "No" is the right answer. He doesn't seem anxious when we get to places, and he always comes home and goes straight into his field with his friends.
Is he just testing to see if he can get away with new things? He doesn't have that frantic, shaking fear about him that he had when I first started working on the trailer with him. There's no worry in his eyes. He just doesn't wanna.
I dunno. I'm open to your thoughts. In the meantime, it was a really good two more hours crossed off the list for our 25 hour goal for the year!