So I know that Ike’s brother Cigar likes to run; he is a Thoroughbred who had 51 starts in his racing career. In his younger days, Cigar could scoot and I mean, he was really fast. He was never happier than when he was running. My friend L took him for a gallop on one of the local cross-country courses a few years ago. I’ve never seen him look so pleased with himself as he did after they finished that gallop. Cigar must be sharing this love with his younger brother, because Ike continues to gallop laps around the big paddock and as well as while under saddle.
I’m all for his paddock gallops. Have at it. Enjoy yourself. Run, Ikey, Run.
The hijinks under saddle: not so cool. And he can be rather sneaky about doing it. We start in a lovely canter and within one stride, Ike has seized control before I can even say whoa. I might get “wh…” out of my mouth, but quickly close it for fear of consuming a bug or two during our romp. My biggest fear is losing a knee on the fence since turning while at a full gallop is tentative at best. An inside, direct rein is my only hope for turning. No subtle half halts. No squeezing of the fingers. No inside leg to outside rein connection. Just hunkering down in the saddle, pulling and barely releasing the reins while trying to keep an eye on how close we are to the end of the ring and how close my outside knee is to getting obliterated.
It doesn’t happen every day, and not always certain what triggers the urge. Youthful exuberance? Perhaps. A cool breeze blows up his butt? Doubt it. Me carrying the whip? Maybe. Ike isn’t sharing the why. At least so far, he confines this behavior to home. I can only imagine the judge’s reaction if it happened in the middle of our dressage test. I can hear the judge ringing the bell because we are off course and demanding that I stop, whilst I yell, “I’m trying to stop, thanks!!” Minus two points for use of voice. More banshee running and eventual elimination for failure to listen to the judge. Fingers are crossed that we never have to cross that bridge of embarrassment.
Needless to say, my abs are feeling better since there was little sit trot to be had the past two days. The only casualty are my windburned cheeks and chapped lips. It is always something.