Now in Convenient Amphibious Form

What do you do when you’ve had a really great ride – I mean, your horse and you have just nailed your halt/trot transitions, and the trot/canters are looking pretty good, and damn, that was a nice round circle – and you look at your watch/electronic timekeeping device and you still have twenty minutes in your allotted hour?

Well some nice, normal, sane people would say to themselves, “Let’s head in. It’s one p.m., it’s ninety degrees in the shade, and if the horse gets a shower and a walk-out, that will leave me time to take a shower and lie down in the dark, cool bedroom and listen to some very loud music before it’s time to go and pick up Calvin from school.”

Horses fall in the pond

The Horse-Eating Pond, circa January floods. That's the edge, kids.

Others (you know, the sort of people who pick up racehorses off the street and start riding them, and then write blogs about it) say to themselves, “Let’s ride in the pond.”

To be clear, I don’t think that my pond is particularly the best pond for riding horses in. For starters, it is a dark black-water pond. The edges drop off dramatically, although it isn’t deep – it isn’t exactly in the shape of a beach. The edges are quite tangled with waterweeds of indeterminate species. And then of course it is infested with alligators.

So, I have this awesome pond for riding horses into, in other words.

It only took half an hour.

The really funny bit is that in the early stages of “IdonwannaIdonwannaIdonwanna!!!!” I accidentally let him turn his head to the left and escape the scary little bank of the pond I had selected as an entry point. And after that, even when he was going into the pond nicely (okay, begrudgingly) he would not enter from the right. He would turn his head to the left and go sideways. That was his escape route, and he knew it. From the left, no problem. We even trotted in.

It really wasn’t traumatic, although I did belt him on the shoulder with the end of the reins (racing reins are so nice and long, and if you’re still using regular reins to ride, you’re missing out!) when he got stuck, just looking down at the water at his toes with a sort of horrified look. But – it’s – muddy!

When he finally started walking through, he took a few deep breaths, either expressing relief or complete and total disgust. Whatever, I was happy. Every now and then, Prince Spoiled Ex-Racehorse can do something he doesn’t want to do! And he might learn to enjoy himself. He’s the only one of my horses that hasn’t occasionally taken a swim. The mares went in every day, cold or hot, ladies bathing at the seashore. And the youngsters don’t go in at all! Well – one does – now.

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8 Comments

Filed under Final Call, Training Diary

8 responses to “Now in Convenient Amphibious Form

  1. Well of course the ladies would go in- they are the smart ones!

    Water is so hard for so many horses. Is it just the way it looks or is there some ancestral memory about being eaten by crocodiles at work there?

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      I definitely have more trouble with black water or mud than clear water. When the paddock floods and you can still see the grass underneath – sister, we GALLOP through that full tilt! I love getting splashed when we ride.

      I think you’re on to something, overall, evolutionary survival taught these kids to stay the heck out of the water. Sharks, gators, and crocs, oh my!

  2. WOW I would love it if I could get my horse to do that – how fun!!…Unfortunately, arabs are ALLERGIC to water. :p

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Bree, I think your Arab may have lied to you. Come close, let me whisper in your ear: no they’re not!

      Of course they do prefer sand. And Cougar Rock on that scary endurance ride. That’s much easier than going through a puddle, I’m sure!

  3. I love swimming with horses!! That’s what life is all about eh?

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Something like that! One of the things I look forward to doing when I go back up north is going on a real trail ride, with real, pretty woods and real hills and real water you can go into without worrying about water moccasins or alligators or flesh-eating piranhas.

  4. I like the new look on your site! I was thinking about changing mine up too, if I change it does it freak out all of the archived posts or do they stay the same? Thanks- Suzanne

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      I was very pleased with the template change – the only thing that threw me was some of the widgets didn’t transfer over. And the template was supposed to have a share widget with the clicks for Twitter, FB, etc., and somehow that disappeared. I would really like that widget! But other than that it was completely painless. You can just click through the templates looking at previews, which I love.

      I did notice that my site is designed on a wide-screen monitor and the pictures bleed into the sidebar on regular monitors. Sorry about that, y’all.

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