Posted by: shannonc | August 4, 2010

The return of the autowhack

That little stinker pony is smarter than I am.  I’m going to have to keep this gem tucked away for future reference.

Down banks, take 4.  I am literally ready to get off my pony and show him that even *I* can drop down the banks, but it turns out I don’t need to.  We pop over a few small jumps to warm up, then up the small bank, down the small bank, up the big bank, down the big bank a couple of times.  When I choose a grass landing (very interesting) and focus a little further out afterwards – here’s where your imaginary next fence is, versus here’s where you’re going to put your feet – they ride well.  In fact they ride better and easier each time until they feel very casual.  Without very many repetitions even. 

Banks: left is 2', right is 2'6"

Well:  that is a better start than I could have hoped for!  So off we go.  Water, in and out, small ditch, down log, rolltop, up and down cordwood.  A mix of BN-easy T questions.  Then the ski jump.

Palisade with drop landing

The pony plinked over this like a pro the first time he ever saw it – last year – so I’m not too worried.  But this time, he doesn’t go.

Pony:  Mmmmmmm, no thank you.

Me:  Okay pony, take a sniff.

Pony:  *on reapproach*  I can’t I can’t!!

Me:  Look, walk around the landing side.  See, nothing scary here.

Pony:  *scrambles on reapproach* No no no no no

Me:  *goes from down bank, gets pony in nice easy trot with a long rein on approach*

Pony:  nooooooo.  Not happening.

Me:  *reapproach, tilts shoulders near takeoff*

Pony:  uh uh.

Me:  Pony, you can doooo eeet!!  *Trots in enthusiastically, taps neck*

Pony:  I’m going to scrape my knees Mom!  Like last week remember???  I’m scared…

Me:  *tries again*

Pony:  I don’t think so lady!  You want me to keep what’s left of the hair on my legs, DON’T YOU??

Me:  *loses unloseable stirrup and peers solo at landing*

Meredith:  *gets on cell phone to ask another horse to come up*

Me:  Look at that horse doing it pony.  See, it’s no big deal.

Pony:  What kind of crack are you smoking?  I’m just a little pony!!!!!

Me:  Just follow that other brave pony.

Pony:  *quits anyway*  *I stop kicking at the base, afraid he’s going to get hurt*

Pony:  See?  I told you.  It’s dangerous out here.  How about we stick to some nice cute logs on level ground.

Me:  Well I am a little worried about you…

Pony:  Exactly!!

Meredith:  You don’t have to do this today, but we need to end it one way or the other.  No reason to keep trying if it isn’t going to work.

Well.  I hate to quit – even when maybe I should – so I try again.  I ask for the lead horse to sit on the landing side so pony can go to her.  No dice.

Me:  *deep breath and not at all sure I can fix this*  Once more.

And then, the unimaginable happens.  A bona fide flying saucer lands near the water jump, carefully avoiding the geese.  Some amorphous looking beings in greenish glowy garb deplane. 

The only way I can explain what happens next is that they possessed me and triggered one of my latent multiple personalities to grab control.

I turn the pony, abandon the trot, pick up a canter, and three strides out take my reins in my left hand and whack the pony once behind my leg on each of the last two strides, with just the right timing to keep the hind legs moving off the ground.

He jumps down (not feeling at all worried, mind you) with me sitting one handed and nailing the balance, and canters away quietly while Meredith and I holler not quietly at all…that was…unbelievably…perfect!

Meredith:  *once I circle around, still patting the pony for all I’m worth*  Um, no more being nice after the first stop.  More determined Prelim rider now, less sympathetic BN rider.

I can’t remember the last time I jumped something one handed, let alone the last time I did it well.  There is only one other time I have smacked the pony behind my leg – the timing was awful and I whaled on the saddle pad.  So, really….aliens, for sure.

Meredith asked me if I wanted to go again.  No freaking way.  There is nowhere to go on that performance but down!

Pony:  Sh*t…I’m so busted.

Me:  You are a naughty pony! 

Pony:  Well, I had you going for awhile there.  You were so fooled!

Me:  grrrrr…

Pony:  Are you going to keep riding me right?  Because that’s going to spoil all my fun…

I love my stinker pony…and really, if it makes him feel any better, I got busted too :P



  1. LOL…and aliens…nice touch!

  2. haha!!!!

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