Monday, February 09, 2009

On The Beach

Saturday was a glorious day in Oregon. We decided to take the horses out to the beach. The only riding we’ve done this winter has been in an arena or in the round pen.

Sometimes horses really know what they know and sometimes they forget what they know. I am fortunate that my horse never has a problem getting into the trailer. He crosses water without thinking about it and I’m really glad he that he doesn’t try to eat while walking down the trail. I’ve had horses before that had all three of those vices.

The one thing I don’t understand is why he gets tweaky when we come over the dunes to the beach. Yes, there are waves and people and dogs and wind and kites and cars, but we’ve been there so many times you’d think he’d be used to it by now. I guess the logs on the beach look like tigers to him and all the other activity is just enough input to drive a prey animal crazy.

Yesterday’s ride was definitely an exercise in desensitization. It must have been one hell of a clam tide yesterday because I have never seen so many cars and trucks on the beach. There must have been a thousand vehicles out there. As we passed each one there was caution expressed by both horses. Some had dogs around them, some had children with toys and some had camp fires. I’ve been on rides before that were so boring that the horses seemed to be sleep walking, but this was not the case. Both were attentive but remained in their skin.

After the beach section of our ride was over we came back to the truck and trailer on a trail through the woods at DeLaura. There were some deep water holes on the way back that my wife’s horse was not all that keen about leading the way through, but my horse just plodded ahead. After building her confidence by following my horse, my wife’s horse finally led the way through the remaining knee-deep puddles. We all had a good day and no one got hurt. It was a perfect day in Oregon.


Blogger Donna said...

This winter it seems like every time it's warm enough to ride, we hop on the motorcycle. Blue hasn't gotten nearly as much exercise as in past winters. However, I think today will be a riding day. Cliff and I have had plenty of motorcycle riding the past few days. Time to ride my horse!

4:07 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

And I thought a nice long walk in this (temporary?) balmy weather was a treat. I'm envious.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

Ah, Mammy could go on and on for you about great memories of some horses that were NOT easy to trailer. What great fun that was, I recall

5:55 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Sounds like you had a great day. I spent my day walking knuckleheads out to the rec yard and back. But hey, I got paid for it.
I often wonder about horses and dogs and how they tend to get skittery about certain things even though you are sure they remember them. I am almost sure they do it for attention. I know my dogs do it. They get all nervous and skittery and barky when my daughter comes into the room even though she has lived with us for three years now. And they always run up to her to get petted. It's an attention thing.

I miss the beaches.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes it's a killer year for razor clams on the Clatsop beaches. Sounds like you had a good time in spite of the throng. In the olden days some diggers would take their horses to the beach and trot them along the low water line and to get those tasty bivalves to "show". Beats the hell out of pounding the bejesus out of a sandbar with a shovel handle.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous grannyanny said...

Here's my theory on horses and dogs on the beach, which comes from many many experiences with both. Dogs (the hunters) get slammed with so many smells in the wind that they can't sort them out, which is uncomfortable and tantalizing at the same time. Horses (prey animals) on the beach have diminished smell and hearing due to the wind and the breakers. These are two of their main instinctual safety sensors; thus the nervousness.

Even my own senses are heightened at the ocean beach, though I think I've drifted far from instinctual safety sensors.

9:23 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Donna, be prepared for Blue to look at you funny and say, "I thought you were over that sort of stuff."

Beth, and I envy your cabin at the lake.

Auntie, A horse that doesn't go into a trailer can ruin any day, especially if they don't want to go back in for the trip home.

Darev, I bet you get weird at work once in a while, too.

Anon, I don't see what the charm is in eating those things, either they are under-done or they are leather. I'm seeing smaller shells this year.

Grannyanny, so does that make you a predator?

9:37 PM  
Blogger loopymamain06 said...

Sounds wonderfully "fresh" air, spring, good for you and yours

5:58 AM  

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