There wasn’t a dull moment on my last trail riding training session with Aunty Tills.
We negotiated icy roads, waited at a red light on a stick, waded through deep water, and scrambled up a rocky path. Then we met The Shoot…
Coming home from this action-packed 10-mile session (yes, I agree, it is a very long way for my wonderfully hairy but unfortunately very short legs) we heard some loud, continuous boom, boom, bangs. Kat and Sara said it was The Shoot.
The others didn’t seem too worried but I was. What was this loud scary Shoot creature that was booming and banging all around us? The noise was so loud, I reckoned it was either very large or very close. Or both!
I began to, what can only be described as, run on the spot. I didn’t want to leave Tills, but I needed to be good and primed in-case I had to hot-hoof it. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something.
It must be The Shoot, coming for us!!!!
Well, that was it for me. I did what any horse keen on staying alive would do. I ran.
Every last inch of me, right to the tips of every hair on my extremely hairy body, said RUN NOW!!!!!! Kat’s yell down my ear and Tilly hot on my heels only bolstered my need to instinctively run. Faster.
After a few seconds I realised Tills wasn’t behind me any more and that my head had been pulled sideways making a forward projection somewhat difficult. It also seemed that The Shoot creature was gone, so, I let Kat slow me down.
When Tills caught up she asked what in the blazing green grasses was I playing at? Was I really hearing her right? Hadn’t she seen The Shoot creature coming for us? And, shouldn’t she be thanking me for getting all four of us to safety with my speedy hot-hoofing?
Apparently not. And, what follows is a tad embarrassing, but, let’s not forget, I am only 5 going on 6.
Turns out The Shoot, was a bunch of humans playing with something called guns and, what I saw out of the corner of my eye was just humans perched on those two wheeled contraptions called bikes.
I would point out that we horses don’t do things like this for fun or to scare our humans so they don’t ride us any more. Although, that is grassy munchies for thought…
No, we are genetically wired to instinctively run when our fear and adrenaline levels spike. There is no conscious thought process; it’s simply a primal act to stay alive.
Once she could speak, Kat said we just need to keep working together so my trust in her as Leader grows. Then, eventually, my instinct will be to turn to her, instead of letting the fear take over every inch of my extremely hairy body.
She also said if I ever did that again she would ban hay cobs for a month and reduce my soggy grassy munchies to one a week.
I’d better start working on my trust issues.