It's not easy blazing trails. You get all the cobwebs. You have to turn around and shout "nettles!" and "roots!" and "hole!" and "low branch!" It's tiring. If I don't shout "roots!" then Paint Girl's Other Half's horse might stumble as we always joke that she's not so surefooted. We're always looking out for each other.
Speaking of Paint Girl's OH, he was cracking me up on our late afternoon ride yesterday! He wanted to blaze new trails and trot and ride up a lot of steep hills. But it wasn't until the way home that he made his mare take the lead. Until then, he was a backseat rider, shouting out which way to turn on the trail.
My Boy stepped out well in the lead. His ears were perked, he walked briskly. I like how between the three of us, all the horses are comfortable in the front, the middle, or the back. We try to mix it up a lot.
The temperature was perfect for a ride, low 70's. And it was a near perfect ride. There were only two issues, for me. On a few of the trails, we exited the woods with a swarm of mosquitoes following us. I know those pesky bugs were attracted to the sweet smell of horse sweat. Luckily, knowing bugs are especially an issue of irritation for my horse, last summer I bought a travel-sized water sprayer and filled it with fly spray, storing it in my saddle bag. It creates a nice mist and I coated my horse's underbelly, legs, and neck with it twice on the trail.
Issue number two was that when we were riding along the road under the power lines, we saw two ladies and around 9 dogs approaching us. No kidding. I didn't have time to take a picture. Maybe Paint Girl got one. I could clearly see the dogs were mostly big Rottweilers. Let me start by saying I am only slightly biased against breeds like Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. I had a Rottweiler mix turn on me when I was around eight years old (I escaped with just a little scrape on my ear) but I happen to have good friends that have a Rottweiler that I have been dog sitting for many years and as you can see, he has only tried to maul, er- I mean, kiss me, once.
It became evident as we rode closer to this pack that one of the women had around 5 Rotts on leashes, and two running loose. The other woman had two dogs on leashes, I think lab/shepherd mixes. The loose Rotts were curious and approached the horses warily yet with curiosity. As they got near I got a little nervous. My Boy just looked at them with perked ears, our horses are used to dogs. But I didn't know what these dogs would do. Would they start barking? Get too close? Get aggressive? You never know with strange dogs. Well, they got too close. One kept going up behind Fritzy's hind legs. I didn't see her kick out at the dog, but Paint Girl did. The woman kept calling her dogs in a sing-song voice, over and over, and neither of them listened to her at all, in fact one of them started to follow us as we continued down the road. The poor woman was rather helpless as she was still holding 5 other dogs and couldn't exactly come get the ones that weren't listening.
What bothered me about this scenario was that we did not know these dogs, or if they knew horses. I was not concerned if the horses kicked one of their dogs. If dogs are not on a leash and get in our horse's space and they feel threatened, I don't fault the horse for kicking them. What worried me was the fear one of the dogs might get aggressive with a horse, and then another one might jump in. A few years ago two Rottweilers got loose in town and doubled up and attacked a variety of other dogs before they were caught. And on the beach a few years ago, a woman riding a rental horse had a guy's Pit Bull run out and grab a hold of her leg and literally pull her off the horse. I would be concerned of any dog/s that approached the horses too comfortably, but will admit my worry would be more if it was a breed like a Rott versus a Golden Retriever. You never know if that "pack mentality" that dogs have might kick in. I also think if one is walking or riding on shared trails/roads with dogs tagging along, they should always have good control of their dogs. Which means if they aren't responsive to verbal cues, then they should be kept on a leash.
All ended well and we turned for home, My Boy falling behind as we crossed the creek and headed towards the trail head.
Wait for me!
The horses all got a hose down and My Boy rolled all over in the dirt then leapt and striked out like a young colt after I put him in his pasture to a fresh flake of hay. His sarcoid is still healing, but it appears it is still trying to spread, so as soon as it looks well enough to handle another form of treatment, the veterinarian will be called out.
I have a pretty busy weekend ahead, hopefully including hosting a garage sale, some bike riding, and spending some time with my papa on Father's Day!
Miss Lucie Grace
1 year ago