This past weekend the new BO asked if I wanted to take Mollie to Goddard Park for the annual RISPCA ride. I enthusiastically replied yes, because it is a ride I have gone to in the past but have missed the last few years due to not having anyone to go with, and subsequently a ride. Mollie hasn't been on a formal trail ride in years, but I figured she would be fine as she genuinely loves being at Goddard. And she was fine... for about 15 minutes.
|Looking shiny, finally.|
We set out in the woods and Mollie and new boyfriend Merlot were great. They were taking turns leading and following, and while both were on "alert" they were exceptionally well behaved since this was the first outing for both of them all year.
|Merlot is excited. Mollie says why is he here?|
About 15 minutes into our ride we run into a parade. I shit you not. Over 100 people in purple shirts, parading through the woods at us. Mollie stopped and gawked, but truly wasn't nervous. Poor Merlot on the other hand was visibly trembling and P said she could feel his heart pumping overtime between her legs. We gave them a few minutes to look, and then asked that they proceed. Ensue panic. Merlot was terrified and his brain quickly disappeared (we're not sure where it went) and P was doing everything she could to keep his feet on the ground. In an attempt to get him going forward I turned Mollie around, and headed back the way he came. Merlot eventually caught on, and followed behind Mollie, although he was quite amped at that point. We walked for a bit, then tried to turn around, as the parade had likely passed. That's when Mollie took over as Captain Twit.
I made the fatal mistake of turning around, and Mollie knows that her one job on trails is to get back to the trailer. Mollie likes having a job. Mollie likes doing her job. She was under no circumstances turning around, and was willing to back herself off a cliff (I honestly thought we'd slide right down the bank) if necessary. I was downright pissed to say the least, as I knew she wasn't scared one single bit, just downright stubborn. In an attempt to make this a somewhat successful outing we agreed to go back the way we came, but to complete that loop a second time to at least get our trips worth out of the experience.
Both horses made it back to the horsemen's area, got a little "I am the rider and you are the horse and you listen to ME" refresher in the arena, and then untacked while P and I stuffed our faces with lunch. And then got beer. Thank god for beer.
Here's to trying again one day this week, hopefully sans parade!