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.