After riding past a particularly scary thing today, I thought wow, THAT makes my top five list…. When thinking about it, I also remembered some things that you would think would be scary but were not as scary as expected.
All of these are actual events, things that have happened to me, or I have witnessed with my own eyes….. Some things didn’t make the list. Like when I rode my old horse Speedy at the PNE and we had to warm up in a space approximately the size of my back porch, along with miniature driving carts.
Or the time I had two loose horses run past me at a horse show while I was on my way to my test. I got eliminated for being late but explained the reason to the judge and when she saw the loose horses as well, it was the first time I was un-eliminated.
Here are the few things that have made the “You’d think it would be scary, but was ok” list:
#5. Riding past a garbage can with a squirrel in it.
Vinny watched the squirrel jump into the garbage can and as we walked towards it, we could hear it inside. Of course when we got to the garbage can, the squirrel popped out again. Vinny watched it the whole time like he expected the squirrel to jump out again, so when it did, he just watched it jump out and scamper away.
#4. A coyote chased a squirrel through the arena WHILE I was riding in it!
They both jumped over the 2ft hedge next to the ring and then, the coyote caught the squirrel in the bushes a few metres away. This happened while I was riding Romeo (who is NOT known for his bravery) – remarkably, he was too surprised to be scared and then we continued our ride. Romeo’s owner was there too – or you would think that couldn’t be true……
#3. A tent blew off
I was watching a test and on the berm beside the ring, a tent blew off the berm towards the fence of the ring and lay next to it. This was DURING someone was riding a test, and the horse didn’t even seem to notice.
#2. Riding during a porta-potty delivery
Riding at the show grounds a day or two before a show, I was in the ring when the porta-potties were delivered. Truck drove down the way towards us, stopped beside the ring, dropped off a few blue porta-potties and left. Nothing, no reaction from Vinny until after we left the arena and he wondered where the heck did those blue things come from.
#1. Riding past a cement truck.
Surprisingly, I have had to ride past a cement truck on more than one horse over the last few years. The first time on Vinny, we followed it down the road and then had to pass it while it stopped to clean up. He did NOT like it, but did it and I probably could have touched the truck with my whip; it was that close.
The next time was recently. At the last horse show, I had to ride up to one while on Romeo. He was freakishly good about it, he must have been wearing his superman underwear! See it here! PROOF!
Brave Romeo Overtakes the Concrete Truck
AND he was really good about it the next day when I had to ride between two cement trucks. Romeo earned new respect and admiration from his owner for that brave move. Then later that day, I rode past the same cement truck with Finn (5yr old). He did NOT like it and was extremely suspicious but I had just ridden past it on Super Trooper Romeo so I figured Finn could do it too.
Here are my top five most scariest things I have ever had to ride past…..
#5. A tree branch
On a windy day, not even particularly windy, a tree branch cracked and fell down in front of me. That wasn’t what was scary, but when I went to ride past it, Vinny was very suspicious that it might move and snorted at it like it was alive.
#4. A peloton of cyclists.
Have you ever noticed the sound of 50 bikes? The soft, or loud, hum of the tires and the little clicks. They looked nothing like anything poor Franco had seen before. At 3 1/2 yrs old, he was pretty much frozen in place, thank goodness as they rode through the intersection in front of us. And as soon as we saw them, they were gone. Phew.
#3. 20-30 people with umbrellas (Ok, I didn’t count them).
There is a walking club that comes by sometimes, and I was riding home on Franco (still only 3 1/2yrs old) and he saw them. Hoping and praying they would turn left and not right towards me, but nope, they turn right. Thankfully there was a fence between us and them, but Franco still saw them. They were split into 3 groups, a few at the front, a larger group in the middle and a medium size bunch in the rear. Franco held it together with the first few, then the next group came and he froze with the feeling of spin/bolt reaction pending. And the final group sent him into motion – spook, spin, bolt – but oh, there is the first group – AH, stop, spin and stare at the ones still there. Poor Franco’s heart was pounding, took him two blocks to deflate and calm down.
at a horse show, Sunday morning, we’re one of the first rides of the day. I was riding my mare, Vienna, in the test and beside the arena, the crows were fighting over the food in the garbage can. The ironic part, I was the one who put the stuff in that garbage can the evening before – after the Saturday night wine and cheese party. I was cursing the fact I didn’t take it away!!!
and THE Scariest thing EVER???
#1. A squirrel inside a bag of chips.
The squirrel had its head and front half of body in the bag, so when I rode near it, the squirrel started to panic and run around. Of course this made a terrible racket – ROMEO almost fell down from fright! Not sure if it was the noise, or the fact the chip bag was moving around.
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PS. poor Romeo did fall down at the sight of a robin the other day, but stayed on his four feet today. Thank goodness!