It was windy and cold, not crazy windy and not super cold but windy and cold enough. I decided since i had ridden Circe the day before that it was Jezebels turn under saddle. Her trainer is on vacation so its just us for a couple weeks. Both girls came over to me in the field and they both got their field treats, I should have known i was in for a day when Jez decide that she wasn’t putting her head in the halter. I told her in Spanish “mirar” (pronounced Me-da) and pointed to the halter. I’ve taken to talking to her in Spanish some, she knows commands in it and she’s really good for my stable manager Rolando who talks to her in Spanish all the time. So i’m giving it a whirl. After i told her mirar (Look) and pointed at the halter she lowered her head for it and i was able to lead her out of the field.
It was super quiet at the barn and I tacked her up, as soon as i walked her out to the ring for a little lunging before i jumped aboard it got crazy. A new storage shed was built and it was just at that time they decided to fill it with more stuff. Lots of strange loud unfamiliar noises. Horses hate that. Jez did okay but she was mentally off and i could tell. Then the heron caught her eye, it was standing on the edge of the pound with the fountain on the other side of the ring. I assume looking for fish. She kept watching it every time she had to lunge around that side. They are pretty big and they are weird looking birds. Ive seen them out int he field so i assume jez had seen one before. I lunged her some and then walked her over to the edge of the ring so she could see the heron. It ignored us but she was very interested in it.
Then it was time for the bridle, our routine is lunging with the saddle and a rope halter see where her head is at, then i bridle her and get on. I put the reins over her head removed the halter and went to bridle her and she flipped out! She jumped 3 feet in the air, knocked me into the fence, pulled away from me and thats when i saw it. The fucking heron had caught a fish and freaked my horse out. It had a giant orange fish (a koi from the pond) in its beak and Jez was having none of it! She pulled away ran down the ring with the reins over her had and my bridle dragging on the ground in front of her. She stopped and i was able to catch her the bridle didn’t seem to have broken, phew! But she was still freaked out. Damn bird! At this time more cars were coming and going outside the ring and of course storage shed activities. All this was making my once quiet little ring time to be not so quiet and much more chaotic. Jez didn’t want the bridle and it was a struggle put i prevailed and then …. i lunged her some more. Her head was all screwy and i’m not really into taking chances, not until my medical insurance kicks in Jan 1 anyways. I cant afford another out of pocket medical fiasco like the one in April. So i lunged her but not until we walked over to the edge of that ring and i scared off that fucking bird. It was defiant and not exactly worried about me and my 1200 lbs horse. I tried to shoo it, yeah that didn’t work. So i threw a rock at it and almost hit it. That did the trick, it flew away.
I went back to lunging my pony full tack bridle and all. She was never 100% calm, she spooked a lot, that stupid bird got to her. They do look weird i cant really blame her too much. I got her to listen to me, did some up and down transitions then decided i could get on her. My plan was to just walk. Jez’s plan was to spook and trot. I tried to force her into my plan she tried to get me to go along with hers. It was exhausting. eventually she just walked for me, a nice strong working walk. Then i dismounted.
I was glad i got on her but i really wanted to do so much more with her. With Jez its always a challenge and i have to remember she hasn’t really been back in work that long, its only been a little over a month. I should learn to be more patient with her. Shes not a spooky horse in general so im cutting her some slack. That bird however… thats another story.