Last night Pilar showed me that we can fly. The half-dark of the outdoors arena and the spooky sounds of something in the forest at the edge of the paddocks, combined with feeling energetic and wanting action — you know where this one goes. Suddenly, OH MY GOD SOMETHING IS IN THE WOODS WE’RE GOING TO DIE, and off we were, up the centre line of the pen at a high speed gallop and kick the sky bucking.
Amazingly I stayed in the saddle. I have my old Arabian, dead for decades, to thank for this, I think; he used to buck and try to throw me every other day when he felt like it, because that’s just how he rolled.
Even more amazingly, I managed to keep my wits about me enough to ask Pilar in an every day voice (while hanging up there among the clouds, the seagulls, and the occasional NASA satellite), to stop, please. And she did. Just like that. Came down from gallop and bucking and just stopped. Then she nuzzled my right foot with her nose as she does when she wants to tell me she’s scared or uncomfortable or doesn’t understand what I want her to do.
This is how a bolting, bucking horse earns a metric buttload of praise. If I was ever in doubt that I bought the right horse, that doubt is certainly gone. Something in the woods scared her enough to bolt from it, and she trusts me enough that when I ask her to stop she does and trusts me to save her skinny butt.