Since it is Thanksgiving break for those who are still in school, Stephanie's weekend pony-clubber help is here all week. Her name is Devon and she's quite fun.
Today, we were supposed to take Izzy and Foster out on a hack in the hills.
You all know Izzy.
And the lovable Foster.
The hills behind Izzy in the picture is where we were supposed to go. We merrily tacked up and headed out. Neither of us took a whip--me because I've been riding without one and Devon because she'd only ridden Foster once before and no one told her she needed one.
We made it about a hundred feet up the hill before Izzy decided she was DONE leading. Foster tried to pass and led about 30 feet before her was also DONE. I could get Izzy up to his throatlatch, but them she would start running backwards and panicking. I don't know if you've ever ridden in mountains, but "running backwards and panicking" is a very, very bad way to do it. Devon being a tiny little thing and Izzy not cooperating, we decided to pow wow.
We couldn't go forward. Foster was completely immobile and Izzy was a nut bar. We had no leverage of any kind. We decided to ride back to the barn and get whips, then try again. As we start down the hill, Izzy trots. I try to pull her up and she's having none of it. She lunges forward a few strides, which culminates in running into Foster, who then kicks at her. It's like the four stooges. Or something.
Take two. With whips.
This time Foster was leading. All was going along merrily until he imagined that he saw something. He leaped and jumped sideways and ran a few strides. Izzy, never one to be outdone, started booking it down the hill back to the barn. I managed to slow our descent with a pulley rein, but Izzy would alternately run backwards and sideways and never take a step closer to the top of the hill and frequently weasel towards the barn. We made it around a bend in the trail (going towards the barn) and Foster started panicking that she was out of site. Izzy backed into a tree, lunged forward, slammed on the brakes, and started to rear when I asked her to go forward.
Hm... I decide that this is not my hill to die on, literally. I slipped off the side, grabbed the reins, and started marching the idiot pony up the hill. Foster followed meekly, clearly happy to not be in the lead. I huff and puff my way about a half mile up the hill and then stop to reassess. Foster seems fine: Izzy is bug eyed and prancing for god knows what reason. Remounting? Yeah, not going to happen. I am also NOT taking her back to the barn for this absurd behavior. I mean, it's not like she's never been on a trail ride before. ALSO, if she wants to act like a moron, she can do it going forward. Period. None of this 'run back to the barn' business.
Of course, I'm on foot, so this is not the most exciting decision I have ever made. I keep Izzy in the lead, since Foster is much happier as a follower, and we continue on up. Of course it's up... Who doesn't need a good workout on a cold, windy afternoon? As we march boldly forward (my legs are killing me), Foster catches sight of some OMG PEOPLE ARE WALKING I HAVE NEVER SEEN PEOPLE BEFORE IN MY LIFE!!!!!!!
I keep Izzy going along, thinking he will just mindlessly follow her, but no. He starts having a mini meltdown, but if you weight 1400 pounds, even a mini meltdown is enough. Devon hops off and joins me in the foot patrol. It would all be very tragic if we weren't laughing hysterically. We entitled it the 'finding nemo' trailride, which make Izzy the pufferfish, Foster as Dory, Me as Marlin, and Devon as Nemo, since her arm started hurting from Foster trying to drag her along.
Izzy continued jigging and acting the idiot throughout, but thanks to the immense abundance of groundwork I've done with her, she mostly stayed out of my space. I certainly didn't envy Devon in that department.
The score is as follows:
Izzy 1 for making me get off
Aimee 1 for making Izzy stay on the trail
Tomorrow, Stephanie is taking Izzy out hacking because I think a certain pony learned that if she put on enough of a show, she wouldn't have to work. I have zero interest in riding her through that show, but Stephanie can and is crazy enough to not even think it's that big of a deal.
Maybe I'll get video...