When it came time to take Rodney for his morning walk, an unnamed tropical mess was dropping massive amounts of rain from an upended bucket. Warm water, no wind, no flash bangs. Well, says I, eventing definitely happens in the rain. Jumpers and dressage may also. Off we go. I put on the Halter of Doom and headed out the door.
The trip as narrated by Rodney:
On the threshold, ‘You have got to be kidding me.’
Out in the deluge with twisted ears and a crunched up head/neck, ‘Us fancy jumper-type horses don’t do unpleasant weather.’
Passing under a tree branch, ‘Can we stay here until it dries up a bit?’
That’s one thing I’ve always liked about Rodney. Under the fuss and stew, he is essentially a lazy horse. He motivates more off a push than a pull. In the rain, he didn’t jig or bolt or spin. He simply slugged along and wanted it to be over. I can communicate much better with a horse who needs to be given a reason to move than one who requires tact and sensitivity to keep the lid on.
He’s also bold. We stopped at the edge of a temporary rushing streamlet. I thought he was uncertain. No, he checked it out to see if the water was worth a drink and then plopped his feet smack in the middle as he walked through. I know this doesn’t automatically translate to water jumps, but it’s a good start.
I would have tried for a picture of the drowned rat brigade but it would have required an underwater camera.
By the second day, he was simply resigned to whatever the crazy lady was doing to him now.
New York Times Crossword, Saturday July 6, 2013.
25 Down: Dressage half-turn.