Pony Tales

The goal was simple: to ride out with Hadley. From my perch on Chance I wanted to lead Bugsy and Hadley. With both of us astride we could venture past the gravel drive.

But first, I needed a dry run. I needed to lead the pony from my horse. Minus the kid.

The first outing was a cinch. Sure, Bugsy had to jog every dozen steps to keep up with Chance. And I focused on keeping the lead a certain length. Too short I dragged the pony. Too long and the rope hooked around my toe.

But they stayed shoulder to shoulder. And I felt pretty damn smug about my horse handling.

But I forgot the cardinal rule about horses: the first try is always easy. It’s the second try that’s trouble. When they know what’s going on.

On our sophomore voyage, Bugsy decided that a forced march was not his liking. He didn’t want to jog along like a giddy golden retriever. So instead he’d rather behave like an anchor…being dragged behind a boat. I clucked at him, I growled at him, I yanked on the lead. But he plodded behind…as slowly, as possible.

At the neighbors, we encountered cows. More cows. New cows.

Not the black angus attack variety.

Highland cows.

They look a little like yaks. Shaggy and sheepdog.

Chance is already non plussed with the bovine species. The last thing he wanted to see was freaky yak cows. He snorted and balked and spooked.

While Bugsy did not. He did his best imitation of a deployed ship’s anchor. The horse I rode plunged in one direction; the 500 pound spotted pony pulled me the other way.

I didn’t feel like like a savvy, competent horsewoman. I felt like an idiot, on the verge of being unseated by a psychotic Thoroughbred, a savvy spotted pony and a Scottish cow.

I don’t know what to do about the neighboring cow population. They seem to be taking over the world. But as for Bugsy’s reluctance about our outings; I’ve decided that he needs an incentive. Preferably a four year old in pink cowboy boots.