It was Trudy’s turn to run freely yesterday, but it didn’t exactly work out. She is the one most in need of conditioning, as her tendency toward obesity has led to problems already this year. She has separation anxiety, so she never lets Cliffy get out of sight.
However, yesterday she lollygagged, uncharacteristically gorging on grass as Clifford and I trotted down the road. Clifford was feeling great; trotting along without hesitation and even looking suspiciously at things and snorting as we passed. We got farther and farther away from the chubby mare, who seemed completely unconcerned that we were disappearing. I suddenly realized that she was content enough to stay by the neighbor horses across the road. She was snubbing Cliffy for the tall roadside grass, safely in the company of the three pasture pals up the hill.
Cliffy and I turned around and trotted back. I attempted to motivate Trudy by chasing her. Clifford was into that! He broke into a canter, cutting horse style. I yelled and hollered. “Git moving mare! Yaahhhh! Get up!”
She would jerk her head irritably, run in a circle, and then go right back to grazing. I started remembering what my friend, Hollywood horse trainer Rex Peterson, had said about why he never uses mares on a movie set.
To her credit, though, she did stand quietly while I got off Clifford, removed his saddle and bridle, and put them on her. I climbed aboard and rode her at a trot toward home.
Clifford had dropped his head to graze. I called back to him. “Come on, Cliffy! You want to run up the hill?” Suddenly liberated, Clifford was giddy! He jumped straight up into the air, kicking and snorting and bucking, and came running after us with his tail up. He went galloping up the hill toward home.
If there is anything more beautiful than a horse running and playing with its tail up, rolling its eyes and shaking its mane, I can’t think of what that could be. And the joy it carries is contagious.