Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Too Much Adventure at Brandywine!

I thought I should pull up the post in which I decided I was Wonder Woman. I hadn't been blogging very long when I wrote this little treatise, so many people have no idea what I am talking about. This is from September 2008. 

I sit here now with sore 'Popeye muscles'!  We trailered over to Brandywine for a lesson with Zing. Firstly, Zing has decided he doesn't load into a trailer anymore. So we couldn't get him in. Ashley, this is for you. Zing is a scent horse, he can't sniff enough horse dung, so I went and picked some up. He got interested and made it half way in before he power backed. The manure lost its interest. I have at least one mare that is in heat, reference my prior post, so I went to her stall and got some soaked bedding for him. He liked that and got in. We didn't have time to play with him, so do what works. Uneventful trip over there.
We have arrived at our destination and open the trailer doors, Zing is up on his toes about everything. I open the divider enough for Kristina to clip the lead rope to his halter and I guess I don't realize he is still attached to the trailer tie. He has a leather halter on and he pulls, breaking the halter. Kristina shouts (a shout for mild Kristina) "He's loose! I told her no he's not and pressed the divider back into him. We proceeded to have a battle of wills on who would push whom. He is at least 1000#'s and I'm not, but I am determined not to have my STALLION loose on someone else's farm, causing harm potentially to himself and others. I felt I was losing him a couple of times, but my super powers kicked in and I kept him in the trailer. He finally turned around and I got the divider closed. Kristina was on my side at this time and I told her to get the halter on him. The halter was useless so I went into a barn full of Warmbloods and grabbed a huge halter and gave it to Kristina. She got in on him from outside his space and stood there. I told her to get in there and she looked at me and I repeated get in there. She did, I opened the divider and we got into the barn.
I have a well-stocked trailer, so I had duct tape to get the halter fixed for the immediate need. A little twine to get the throatlatch long enough. As I was repairing the damage, Kristina came to the trailer and said "You don't have any thought for personal safety, do you." I couldn't argue, so I said no, I don't. My horse would get loose over my dead body. The prospect of that meant more than anything else. Adrenaline is a powerful thing and a strong personality combined with it kept everyone safe. I told her I am Wonder Woman. She later told me I would be the mom who would pick up the car pinning her child. Yes I would, but then I wouldn't be able to walk for a year!
On the way home I told her this is my defining line between amateur and professional, the understanding that the person who works with horses as a life choice is responsible for everyone's safety, often at the risk of their own. I am not reckless, quite the contrary, but that horse was not getting out of that trailer. And now my poor, old body hurts, but he is in his stall and all is right with the world. Hopefully Wonder Woman won't need to show up again!


  1. This multifaceted adventure requires more comments:

    Brilliant idea on using scent to get him to load!

  2. The first time I hauled Sinclair in my very own trailer, I forgot to untie him first before I opened the divider.
    He broke the trailer tie backing out.

    I haven't made that mistake again.

  3. Lastly,

    How demeaning to adorn that exquisite head with duct tape and twine...

  4. : ) : ) You are too funny! Advil was on the menu last night and I feel fine this morning.

    I won't haul Zing in a leather halter anymore because of this. I bet your glad you weren't with us for that lesson!

  5. As I mentioned before, never a dull moment! That sounds pretty scary, but i know what you mean about the adrenaline kicking in and fortifying your resolve. I have never had to lift a car off of a pinned child, but I hope that I could should the situation arise!

    Thanks for the explanation on Zing being a 'scent' horse and I would imagine that for a stallion nothing is more interesting than a lady horse! I feel like I am getting a personal tutorial to horses and the world of horse ownership : ) I am learning so much here.

    Bye for now and congratulations on your courageous save!


  6. I was going to ask how things went, but it looks like you had an intersting day - hopefully the lesson went well?

  7. Ashley, I was directing the part about the manure to you because of our conversation about an idyllic life and I told you mine was filled with manure! Literally:)
    Stallions catch the scent of a mare in heat through the urine, so hers gave him interest, but I hoped he wouldn't think I was her, which he didn't!!

    B, the lesson went very well. Zing was worked up more from stress than anything else. After Kristina lunged him awhile he settled down to work. When she got on him he was his usual self. I can't tell you what a blessing it has been to have these lessons from Bill. He is not at all like the typical dressage instructor. No force or punishment, no '30 #'s of pressure', none of the usual stuff. I'm in heaven!

    I was too smug this morning, I am sore now.

  8. Oh, and Bill said Zing has pure gates and simply needs to overcome his canter phobia, which he went a long way toward achieving yesterday. He liked Zing's uphill build and his big gaits. Always nice to hear.

  9. Ooops. I missed your point, but yes, I am sure your life includes quite a bit of hard work and dealing with manure as well. I have to change lots of dirty diapers, does that count? (probably not : ) Anyways, I still enjoy learning about your horses and your farm.

    Hope you feel better soon. Try a long hot bath and if you are anything like me the second day will be the sorest and then you will start losing your soreness.


  10. Ashley, I often think I'm making a good joke and then no one gets it. Doesn't stop me though, I continue to go through life thinking I'm clever!

    I have to say diapers trump horse manure! : )

  11. I am testament to overcoming
    "canter phobia"

  12. And I was so happy that I got to be there the day you let loose and not only cantered, but went over jumps!!

    Bill wants Kristina to stop giving Zing something to brace against, so she need to let loose with the reins a lot. It is a new way for her and for Zing. They are, as Bill says, co-dependent. It's frustrating for both of them, but Bill says a few rides and it will become easy. I would never be able to handle the work Kristina goes through in those lessons.

  13. LOVE the photos at Brandywine! What a beautiful horse. It is terrific that he is "uphill". It looks like he is doing so well!

  14. Thank you, we like him too! I hand raised him, so I'm very attached.


I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.