In Which Baxter Whoops My Tail

So it’s Sunday and that means another Pace. 


I mean, no really… YEAH! Because I really enjoy the paces and this time Jim got to go with me which is always novel because he’s so insanely optimistically happy-go-lucky that he doesn’t even know that he’s facing down imminent death until well after he’s survived and only then because I mention it. (Seriously honey, how many times did you and Maddy slide down that creek bank sideways? 5? I lost count)

Anyway… so it was another great outing… this time at FENCE in Tryon NC.  The only downside was the insanely loooooooooooong delay at the start.  I think we sat in line waiting to go for about 45 mins.  Baxter gave all indication that he was ok with the delay, while Maddy pranced and paced a bit.  The delay did give us an opportunity to meet a few new people, which is always nice. 

So once we were on course both horses seemed eager and Baxter stepped out with style… pushing Maddy into a canter to keep abreast of his leggy trot.  And then it all went downhill…. no… quite literally it went downhill and I discovered that my big teddy-bear of a gelding had been missing his glory days in the hunt in VA and we barreled down that hill at a very fast trot and were just thinking about rolling over into a canter when Jim pulled up thinking that he had a stirrup malfunction.  I asked Baxter to whoa and got the first hint of attitude.  I dismissed it as antsy-ness from the delayed start but pretty much his attitude tanked from there on out. 

I would ask for a canter and he would leap forward into a huge gallop.  I would ask him to shift down from a canter to a trot and he would take up the bit and plunge on. It was a bit hell-for-leather and I pretty much spent the entire ride saying “whoa Baxter, quit it Baxter, no Baxter!” and hauling on the brakes.  And because he was being very difficult (not unbearable, just difficult) I was riding much deeper than I normally do, carrying a tremendous amount of weight in my feet so that about half way through the course I could not feel my toes, which is a weird feeling… then my calves started cramping… then my arms… by the time we made it the trailer I was a big ball of physical misery… and yet… I would unequivocally say that I had a good day 🙂  Crazy?  Maybe… but it’s true!

So what happened?  I don’t know… horses are much like people… they have good days and bad days and maybe all that wait at the beginning just fried his patience.  Or it could be that the weather has changed and he was drunk on the crispness of the air.  Or maybe he really hates that snaffle bit… or maybe he just wanted to run and jump everything in sight and was thinking that I was being the fuddy-duddy for spoiling his fun.  Most probably it was a combination of a lot of things. 

But I still had a great ride… even if I won’t be able to walk tomorrow 🙂

2 thoughts on “In Which Baxter Whoops My Tail

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