Monday, December 6, 2010

Buckshot is a trouper!

Buckshot had a tooth pulled! It happened last Thursday and I wasn’t there (darn!- due to a semi-emergency with another horse, it was scheduled such that I wasn’t aware of it til it was over). I wanted to be there for his annual floating and to ask the vet about a few other minor things. But the vets –both of them came to the farm- took good care of him, sedated him for the floating and extracted a tooth that needed to come out. And the BO took good care of him afterwards. When I arrived on Saturday morning, I went out to see him in his pasture and tell him I’m sorry I missed the vet visit. And how did he feel with this new, funny feeling in his mouth? I watched him eat hay and observed only a very little amount of quidding (chewed up hay dropped to the ground in a ball). He seemed to be fine and his regular self. We had a good ride as well. I fed him soft treats (no carrots or mints since they are hard) and he seemed to feel he was appropriately appreciated.

On Sunday, it was colder (low 40’s) and cloudy, almost a dreary-looking sky. We had the arena to ourselves as we started our ride (phase one, as always, our 20 minute walking phase). He did well after phase one, and we had some nice trotting and even some pretty good cantering. I tried really, really hard to keep my seat in contact with the saddle and a few times I did so. I also work very hard on keeping my hands low at the canter, and I think I do reasonably well at this and am able to give him rein as he needs it. He did very well. We even got the correct lead most times, the BO told me, as I am not yet able to tell what lead I am on.

Then the BO and BOH (BO Husband- is this an accepted abbreviation?) joined us on their horses. It was a nice, quiet (no shotgun blasts-hurray!), nippy cold, late autumn ride. After several minutes in the arena, we decided to go on the trail. We rode through the cathedral of strong trees, bare branches, crispy leaves, and autumn quietness. When we got to the small bridge, the lead horse wouldn’t cross, so Buckshot and I took the lead. He walked over it without a hitch. (I’m so proud of him!). Then on through the trail. A few feet ahead I let the BO take the lead position on her horse. Suddenly there was something new. Three neat stacks of wood pieces from downed trees. The first horse stopped, trying to determine what this was and what it all meant. Then she slowly decided it was okay to walk by them. Buckshot and I didn’t miss a step – he didn’t notice or didn’t care about them. But the third horse, a much younger horse, wanted no part of them, and he pranced and jumped about, totally unsure of these dangerous things. His rider rode through it just fine and we continued on our way.

At the hay field, we decided to change our direction and walk across the large hay field, to investigate a new part of the field. A teenaged boy was kicking a soccer ball a bit too close to us. Buckshot did just fine. Several times I had to tell myself to sit back, like a cowboy, and breathe. I am so alert when we ride in a totally new area, I am prepared for the spook at every minute, but I try to recognize it and tell myself to sit back (don’t perch), and breathe, and I can handle whatever may come up. I don’t actually relax, I just try to make my body do more relaxing things, so that I don’t add to my own nervousness. :) We spent a few minutes at the hay field arena and then headed down the driveway back to the barn. After the ride I felt so proud of Buckshot for doing the long two hour ride and how good he was. And all this after getting a tooth pulled just a few days ago. He is such a trouper, and I am so proud of him and glad that he is my horse!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Buckshot did great and so did you! Pulling a tooth in an older horse isn't as much of an issue due to the short roots - glad he did Ok and seems to have recovered well.

Wolfie said...

I love trail rides, but I am nervous every time I go out. You and I share the same routine of deep breaths, sitting back and working at relaxing. Congrats to you and Buckshot for a great ride. Hope his recovery is smooth and uneventful.

Carol said...

Such a great post. Your description of riding through the late autumn landscape is beautiful. I'd be so proud of my horse if he casually walked over a bridge. I can't imagine it. Also, I've had to take Dan and Savanah by new woodpiles when trail riding in the woods and I know they don't always like it. Dan (my appaloosa) in particular isn't fond of wood piles :) You have a great horse!
Sitting into the canter will come. Think of riding a wave :) Also if you look down with just your eyes(keeping your head up), you'll see one of Buckshot's legs going further forward than the other. That's your lead. You probably know this.

Grey Horse Matters said...

You have every right to be proud of Buckshot and yourself. What a great ride. I'll bet if you really did relax all the way you'd enjoy it even more! You and Buckshot are a great team.

juliette said...

What a good boy Buckshot is - and after his tooth extraction! The woods and hayfield sound lovely. Aren't you lucky to have such a nice horse?