Tuesday, July 3, 2012

climbing a mountain

Well. . .maybe not a mountain, but Shyloh made it up a giant pile of asphalt, pulling a tire.

With the heat wave that we have been having, I decided to work Shy outside. I hooked her harness up and worked on some line driving. Shy was doing great! She was responsive, forward, and just plain awesome. We even did some trotting.

So, I decided to grab the tire and hook it up to Shy to see how she would do dragging it outside. Here is where things went south. . . 

I had been using a regular bridle to work with Shy (as opposed to the driving bridle with blinders). She seemed more comfortable being able to see behind her and my goal right now is to get her comfortable pulling stuff. But since I wanted to work outside, on grass, I knew I needed the overcheck or I would have to fight the good fight against the grass. Clever Shy, never one to be denied grass, figured out that if she bent way over to the left and leaned down, she could grab the grass. 

Since I am only one person, I could only concentrate on one thing at a time. . .grass or hooking up the tire. I chose tire. I got the right side hooked, when Shy took a step to the side. I tried to tap her back over and she took a step forward. Now, I know she saw the tire and she knew what was going on. She is far from a dumb horse. When she took that step forward, she must have felt the weight of the tire on one side of her body. 

And that is when she shot off like a cannon! Down to the end of the outdoor area, back again, through the cars. . .all the while with the tire bouncing behind her and lines flinging away. I called out "Loose horse!" because I knew someone was in the barn with their horse out. She had all the horses looking out their windows on that side of the barn, cheering her on. I wasn't worried about Shy going anywhere, but I was concerned about her hurting herself with all the lines flying behind her. I didn't panic, because panicking would have only made the situation worse.  Then, I came out from between the cars and I saw Shy. . .
My extremely accurate drawing on the actual piles of asphalt.
. . .standing on top of the second pile of asphalt. Shy drug herself and that tire over one pile and onto the top of the second pile. I have to admit, it was kinda cute. I tried to get a photo, but when I got close enough, down the hill she went. She went back and forth a few more times, then tore into the barn. At this point, the rope that tied the tire onto her harness broke. As Shy rounded the corner at top speed, upending wheelbarrows, she ran into the fan on Dannon's stall, knocking it down. 
Broken clip
Finally, she stopped, dead center in the aisle way. Poor Shy was scared and tense. She knew she did something wrong and was not sure how I would react. I untangled all of the lines and checked Shy over. Just a minuscule scrape on her nose from all of that.

I made her go back outside and worked her some more. We did not drag anything, but we did line driving. She was a little jumpy at first, but settled down and was able to get back to good. She was a little hard on the right rein, but we worked through it. I just wanted her to know that freaking out will not get her out of work, she still has to do it. After the holidays, I will go back out and have her drag that tire outside. I am thinking I will have someone hold her head so she can't eat grass. As funny as that was (after the fact) I do not want a repeat!

Oh yeah. . .and Shy had a mouthful of grass throughout this whole ordeal! Kept it and tried to eat it once she calmed down. 


  1. It sounds like you handled this like a pro. I would have been freaking out. I'm glad Shy wasn't hurt. I think you were really smart in making her work some more.

  2. Oh, I forgot to say how much I loved your art work.

    1. Thanks! I wanted to show how she was on the pile, but I had no picture.

  3. I love the art work too! I had a similar experience with a horse and a tire about twenty years ago - I had a cob which was supposedly broken to harness, and I decided to test him by pulling a tire before attempting to harrow the arena with him. Thankfully he stayed inside the arena, unlike Shy!

    1. Luckily, she did not go far. We started off outside and the outdoor area does not have fencing or borders. Crazy horse, there was no real reason for all of that mess!

  4. Whhooo, I'm so glad the killer tire didn't eat you Shy. That'd been scary big time having it chase you around. Like the asphalt draawing :)

  5. Good grief Shy! She can be a bit of a drama queen huh? ;D I'm glad everything turned out okay!


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