Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Busy Saturday

Since today is supposed to be our last nice day for a stretch, I made sure I got a chance to squeak a trail ride in. Riding around in circles doing arena work can get boring for both me and my horse so I'm always happy when the weather breaks enough we can get out into the hills and mix things up a bit.

Before I could hit the trails, there was stuff here to be done. Also, I had an appointment this morning with an insurance agent to see about getting a new bid for coverage on this farm.

Our current policy does not have a local agent attached to it and I'm thinking that might not be so good if I ever have a claim. Besides considering we're always adding on to something, a local agent will help us make sure our coverage keeps up with what we have. There's nothing worse than thinking you have coverage only to find out you don't.

Since this local agent is an active member of our club and her company sponsors whenever asked, I thought I should see if her company might be able to suit our needs. I'm tired of spending my money on companies that don't give back..... and particularly for insurance. My insurance bills for a year could support my farm for months. It would be nice if some of it went back to my club.

One of the things that was needed to get this quote was an inspection and dimensions on all my barns. Of course, we can't really see the barns without visiting the horses too, so this agent and her husband got to meet my herd up close and personal.

Being a horsey gal herself, she came prepared with carrots for the horses and she even managed to located a Milk Bone or two for Delilah and Sugar. As you can guess, she was a big hit here.

Visiting the horses and dealing with insurance issues took longer than I had hoped. Instead of heading up to the hills for a long ride, I took Legs just over to the small series of trails at the park where I ride. That way I got to work on some arena work first. Then we headed off to cool out on the trails.

I've been working Legs on some small hills back there in trails of the park. It's more fun to build up the muscles in his back that way. During the week we can trot and even lope back there. Usually on the weekends there are too many walkers with their dogs and we don't really want to smush anyone and have cause for a claim on that insurance I must carry because I own horses.

Today, we didn't come across any walkers with their dogs. We did, however, come across a loose dog. He was marked like a rottweiler but not built like one. He had a big attitude and thought he was going to chase my horse.

Legs is not bothered by dogs. The horse actually likes them and cats too. He's been known to stroke them gently using the side of his face if they'll let him. It's amusing to see this stallion ever so gently rubbing up against a cat or a dog. Here, our critters are used to his behavior and actually seem to enjoy a little time spent with Legs.

I'll never forget the day I learned to deal with chasing dogs by sending my horse after them. I guess I'd just never thought about it before that time. Instead I'd always tried to keep my distance and hope the dog did not charge. Now, when a dog approaches with a bad attitude, I turn my horse right into the dog and go after them.

This dog today did not think much of such an advancement by my horse. As I moved Legs toward the upstart the dog backed up a step or two indecisive about what to do. I urged Legs forward more and the dog wheeled around running off with his tail between his legs. After that anytime we came near this dog, he ran which was ok with me. I'd rather have that than the thing nipping at my horse's heels.

I don't think Legs has figured out yet that we are chasing dogs. I wouldn't really want him to think that dogs are meant for chasing although Aidol certainly used to think that was the case.


  1. That's an awesome idea, and I can't believe I haven't thought of it yet. One of the geldings I borrow from my friends HATES dogs. Really HATES them, and for no good reason, either--- he only likes the 3 dogs he was raised with, and any other canine runs a risk of getting stomped to death. He's sneaky about it, too--- there's almost no warning. The last time I was riding him a loose dog darted across the trail in front of us. All the rest of the horses spooked--- not this gelding! He lunged forward in an unbelievably athletic jump (leaving me scrambling for my seat) and slammed his hoof down about 2 inches behind the dogs skull. He juuuuuust missed him. I corrected him after it was said and done, but it all happened so fast there was no way I would have been able to prevent it if it had happened. Let's just say I don't plan on riding him on trail with dogs any time soon.

  2. riding out in issaquah i was often afraid i'd run into a bear. then one day i did, and i turned my horse and ran away. then i was troubled by that entire side of the mountain, cuz i thought of it as the bear's side. i was letting my fear control where i rode. so i went out on purpose to find the bear. ride after ride, i eventually did find him. then i pointed my horse at him and charged. the bear ran away, curing my fear.

    until the day i ran into a mama and babies. i almost wet myself i was so scared!


  3. Whenever I'm out riding trails and loose dogs approach, I learned early never to run from them. I'll keep on walking at a regular pace and talk to the dogs. "hi guys, how ya doing?" If they're antagonizing, then I'll turn my horses to face the dogs and even advance towards them. It scares most dogs and gives the horse confidence. Of course, I always hope never to meet loose dogs in the first place.

  4. Ishtar, I'm with you. Wish I got to do much more of it.

    Becky, Aidol isn't particularly fond of dogs either in what he considers to be "his space." But other than that he doesn't seem to mind them. It would be interesting to know what goes on inside their heads when they do stuff like this.

    lytha, now bears are another issue. I've not ever run into one but I think about what I would do if that day came and a mama with cubs would be even worse. YUCK! That's an experience I can do without.

    FV, I talk to them sometimes too. Some that works and others, not so much. It's not often I come across loose dogs, thank goodness. I heard the one yesterday caused some problems with other horses though, after Legs and I were gone.

  5. I guess we can never have too much insurance.It's nice to find an agent you like.

    Glad you got out for a trail ride. I think it's amazing that the horses chase dogs. This way you never have to worry about them spooking around them. Legs sounds like a sweetheart around his dogs and cats.

    I actually have a horse (Blue) who chases geese. He really gets an attitude when they go in his paddock.

  6. Thanks for visiting my blog!
    I can certainly relate; we have at least one dog at the house all the time, and if she sees me doing more then walk my horse, she takes off after her...unfortunately, when I whirl my horse around to chase her off, the dog just thinks we're playing...*sigh* ;)

  7. I love the action in that picture!!