Pink, Flowery Danger

Aha, I thought to myself on Friday evening.

Rather than struggling to move heavy cavalletti*, I will create today’s exercise using readily portable flower boxes.

[* I feel like I complain about this a lot; it’s not because I’m a huge weakling, it’s because someone {ahem} broke my wrist as I fell off him last year; my wrist has never really recovered its strength and gets really painful when I try to carry heavy things while bending it.]

flowerbox

Like this.

We will work on all manner of things, I thought, lulled by Schmoodle’s weeks of excellent behaviour. Halting in the middle of a line, cantering in and trotting out, simple changes in the middle of the line, 10-metre circles in the middle of the line…

My first inkling that my plan might not work was the minute we stepped onto the field and Schmoodle stopped dead, his ears pricked violently towards the flower boxes. I could practically hear the thoughts running through his little horsey brain: HOW DID THOSE GROW OUT OF MIDDLE OF THIS PRISTINE GRASS FIELD since I was in here yesterday?! Are those flowers…SWAYING IN THE WIND?!?

Needless to say…my plan didn’t exactly come to fruition. Our ride consisted of, first, trying to approach within a ten-foot radius of the flower boxes without skittering sideways; then riding like an eventer facing the deepest, widest ditch in the world on our initial approach to the 12″-tall flower box; then ratcheting down our speed on landing from “Holy God Panic Mode” to “I Am Not Running Away With You Any Longer But Will Still Throw In A Few Exuberant Lead Changes To Show the Flower Boxes Who’s Boss”.

I decided to quit once I got the correct number of strides in the line (i.e., without the tiny stutter step that Schmoodle kept wanting to put in, the better to inspect the monsters in the flower boxes), didn’t overjump the boxes by four feet, and cantered away with some semblance of control, Schmoodle heaving and blowing like he had just run Rolex.

I got off up at the barn and Schmoodle looked at me with wide eyes like, “You’re lucky I saved your ass from those pink flowery things. A ‘thank you’ wouldn’t be outta line.”

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