Monday, October 3, 2011

Run Away Rogo

Just when I thought I'd curbed my tendency to push my luck when things are going well, I pushed my luck. I've posted about wanting to energize Rogo at times. It comes and goes with him, but as he gets older and more experienced it's coming along. In my last post I reflected on lunging to energize him and get the forward trot he should be doing now (by the way - thanks for all the feedback). A few days ago I thought I'd hack out before schooling, as an energizing exercise. I usually do this after schooling, as he is still very green on the trail and I have to go by myself. As a matter of fact the one previous time I tried a hack before a ride in the ring I realized it was still a bad idea. Some how I forgot this. I additionally decided it would be a good idea to start on new routes - so - no warm up, first time on this route. Can you guess what happened?
Things went well at first. I headed to the beach, but on a little woods road instead of directly out the back gate. The trees are overgrown in one spot, and I had to lay down on his neck to get under them. This went okay on the way down, but as we got close to the beach he broke into a trot and wanted to canter before we even hit the sand. He isn't ready for me to let him go in the wild blue yonder, trust me. I got him back to a walk and decided he was energized enough :) and that we'd go home. Instead of going back the way he knows though, we went back the new way, i.e. laying down on his neck again when we got to the branches. This was too much for him. Isn't this a jockey position? He thought is was and BIG canter ensued. I couldn't sit up until we cleared the overhanging branches, so by then he had a good head of steam and was heading for a blind entry to the road about 50 feet away. Damn! Do I have shit for brains, or could this happen to anyone? (don't answer)
I remembered that I'd been taught to use my whole upper body to stop a horse in an emergency, not to just pull on the reins, so I threw my upper body back to put the weight into the reins - once, twice, three times - hard outside rein, on off with the inside, and we did a hopping turn onto the front lawn of the house and came to a halt. He wanted to run badly and I wondered for a second if he'd try to get rid of me to do it, but he didn't, God love him. I managed a very high stepping walk into the arena where we enjoyed a very forward ride! (By the way - I've read about and / or trained / tried all the techniques to stop a run away horse and this is the only one I'd trust trying. The one rein thing doesn't do it for me. I've been on a horse who galloped and bucked with his head pulled to me knee. My technique isn't for everyday, that's for sure, and on the downside could cause a rear.)
Doug got home a while later and when I told him where I went he blanched even before hearing about the near 'incident'. He was convinced I couldn't trust Rogo not to fall into the little ravine the road skirts. I say he's smarter than that :)
Mom - if you're reading this it wasn't that bad.. Remember when you said how nice I looked riding by the window? :)

14 comments:

juliette said...

Oh, I am so glad you two are ok. That was a scary story to read and I am sure it was scary to ride through.

Don't be so hard on yourself. We all have these brilliant ideas sometimes and most of the time they work out fine. Even in this case. you used your head to get him stopped correctly and Rogo used his kind heart to keep it together after you stopped him.

You totally cracked me up with the "shit for brains" comment. I ask myself this at least once a day when working with horses! Sadly, I am constantly doing goofy things.

I commented on my blog about how much I ADORE the story of Rogo choosing you. It is the very best. You two still are taking care of each other.

Tricia said...

Great post! And thanks, as I'm thinking about which way to go with my 4-year old tomorrow morning-- hack out first, or ring work? Hmmm...I think I have my answer! Heh-heh!

Jan said...

Carol, Oh, what a ride!! I'm so glad you had the presence of mind to do the stop you did!

And then, after all the intensity of the story, I laughed at your last sentence to your mom!

(And like Juliette, I, too, remember clearly and love the story about how Rogo chose you at the beginning - terribly touching story!)

Margaret said...

Everything worked out fine in the end and I'm sure you will be working before hacking for a long time! Good thing you have a great seat and didn't panic.

Kate said...

Glad you both survived the ride OK - just chalk it up as a learning experience. We all do this kind of stuff, not just you.

TeresaA said...

if you never push the envelope then you never progress. So you pushed it a bit. I once had Irish do something similar to me and it was on a trail he knew well. I got us back to the ring and worked his little butt off and then went back out again so that he learned that when I want to walk we walk. :) I'm glad you stopped him. Another technique besides the one rein stop is to alternate pulling on the reins. It is hard on the mouth and not something to do lightly but safety is first and sometimes horses learn to lean into the steady pull.

SprinklerBandit said...

Yay! There's another person not in the one-rein-stop camp. Whenever I hear about that, I just think, "What a great way to yank a horse over sideways". Maybe it's different if they're trained to do it, but I can't envision myself bothering with that. Thanks, I'd rather train my horse to engage her hind end instead of the other way around.

Sounds like you found a most excellent extended canter, though. Hope that comes in handy.

Annette said...

I nominated you for an award. Drop on by and pick it up when you have a chance.

Val said...

At least you got the forward!

Good ride and well handled. Maybe Rogo wanted to prove to you that he can go. :)

Megan said...

Sounds like you had a bit of an adventure. I don't often ride out on the road because Scarface has a tendency to be spooky. I want to more though. I need to stop being such a chicken!

It sounds like you handled the situation rather well though! Glad everyone is ok!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Hi Carol,
There's an award at my blog for you, pick it up when you have the chance.
Arlene

Mary said...

You've won an award over at my blog! Stop by to pick it up

Megan said...

I've given you an award at my blog as well. Looks like you are a popular lady!

achieve1dream said...

Yikes!! I'm glad it all turned out okay. Good boy Rogo for not bucking and for finally stopping lol. :)

I like the one rein stop, but what most people don't realize (not saying you don't) is that it has to be trained. It doesn't just work if the only time you use it is in an emergency. You have to teach it at the halt, walk, trot and eventually canter in a safe area such as your arena until he is stopping reliably. Eventually it becomes so much of a habit that they do it even if they are terrified. It's save my butt before so I'll continue to use it. I'm glad your method worked though and that Rogo didn't rear up. Be careful girl. :)