Monday, August 11, 2008

Wait, Was That a Bolt?

Ranae left Saturday for her annual girls trip. This year they are in Jackson Hole, Wy. We have a friend who knows a farmer and we talked about getting a harrow bed of hay. He delivered it on Saturday afternoon. The truck couldn't fit into my yard and they had to drop it on the driveway, so I got to spend my first day alone moving 88, 125 lb bales in 5 pickup loads to the back of my yard. Having no strong friends, I had to rely on my ipod to get me by. It's pretty good alfalfa and with hay prices what they are, I think we got a good price. Who knows, maybe my neighbors will want some and I can make a small profit.

Sunday, after crawling out of bed sore from head to toe, I had breakfast and decided to go for a ride. We headed to our usual area and totted most of the way. I worked on some transitions from trot to walk and walk to canter. Once out in our practice field, we worked on picking up the correct lead and holding the canter. It was pretty hot and we got a few good ones in and headed for home.

We were walking between two fields the road was twenty five feet or so. The corn on one side was six feet high, on the other it was six inches. We got to a place where an irrigation pipe had broken and the had dug a big hole to patch it. We've been through this before and had done our rollback into it. Jessie looked worried so I decided we needed to do it again. The side between the high corn and the pile of dirt left us about a 10 feet wide narrow path. There were some farm workers on a tractor with a tank about 30 yards away. We had gone around the spooky hole in both directions and making just one last past through the narrow part. Jessie's butt was to the tractor when, all of a sudden, it was like a semi release the air brakes - Whoosh!

What happened next probably took less than five seconds. First, it scared the crap out of both of us and I know my legs clamped. The first stride was about 15 feet, I took my legs off and while she usually slows down, I could feel her speeding up. I thought (and this seems strange to me), "Well, if I come off at least it's in some soft dirt", as she headed for the short-corn field. Then, I felt my hand slide down, pull on one rein and say "Whoa". As she stopped and her nose touched my boot I remembered every single dollar I've spent at DUH and thought, "This is paying off better than a hundred shares of IBM." I flexed her a couple of times. We went around the spooky hole a couple more times and then headed for the farm tractor. I knew it could probably make that noise again at any time and it did. We were about fifty yards away and somewhat shielded by the sound and Jessie didn't even flinch.

It's real close to the two year anniversary of Tex tossing my off. I remember that time I didn't say "whoa", and I didn't use the ORS. So, if nothing else, I'm making some progress too.
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