Yesterday, on the occaision of my first-ever horse shopping excursion, I got nipped on the left rear pocket, displayed a general lack of ability to clean out a heavy horse’s foot, and got my own stepped on.
I exagerate on the latter — he got the toe of my right boot and as of this writing, I’m not feeling any the worse for wear nor is there a nip mark on my behind.
The idea was that the owner would ride him so I could watch, and then I would ride him. Sounds like a plan, but . . .
He was too much horse for me, that’s for sure.The horse in question is a six-year-old gelding halflinger as round as a barrel who quickly decided that I was not the boss. And he was right. As soon as I got nibbled, I knew things weren’t going well. Yes, he’s spoiled baby but I was no match for him. I couldn’t even lead him around by the halter, he got ahead of me so, and I tried shaking the lead rope but it was to no avail. He still pulled me around as he sampled choice bits of grass.
The horse hadn’t been ridden since June — no, wait, it had only been since August. He wasn’t a kid’s horse, but they put beginners on him all the time (“So why can’t you ride him, lady?”). He was a nice baby but probably weighs 1800 pounds and needs to be worked daily.
Well, probably. The man who rode kept telling the horse, when it didn’t respond to commands, that OK then they’d do things the old-fashioned way. I really don’t believe I was witnessing horse abuse but I felt more and more out of my league with each second. The whites of the gelding’s eyes were showing as he stumbled in a muddy patch. He made little half-buck out in the field. He stopped, he went backwards, he went forwards, etc etc, and was told again about the “old-fashioned way.”
Oh, I tried to buck myself up: “You came all the way out here and these good people took time out of their Sunday to show you the horse. Sure you can ride. You can get up on the horse and ride him around a couple of times. Sure you can.”
I realized with mingled relief and embarrassment that the pit-of-my-stomach fear was the final judge: there was no way I was getting on that horse.