Sunday, May 19, 2013

Remedial Bridling 101

Today Hudson was pretty hyper starting out on our ride.  She was jigging and shaking her head.  She does sometimes jig, but the headshaking was unusual.  I wondered if maybe she was in heat, as I have heard that mares will sometimes shake their heads when they are in heat, but it’s not typical of her to show any signs of her hormonal cycle.

Whatever, I thought to myself, foolishly (Note to self: if your horse is doing something today it hasn’t done in the previous whatever number of days, pause from your reckless oblivion and check it out).

We took a spin around our southern hay field and she was still very prancey.  I planned to ride through the next field, then up on the hill.  When we rode into the next field, I noticed some of Pete’s cows grazing by our pond.

Pete’s cows being on our property always pisses me off, but especially this year when so many of them look sick.

Hudson, in her high, head-shaking state, would not be my first choice in a cow pony.  She had never worked cows before, for one thing, and she was being pretty goofy, for another.  But, my anger about the cows overcame common sense, and we went after them.

My husband had seen them too, and was cutting them off from running the wrong direction.  Hudson and I did the herding, and it was an interesting activity, let me tell you.  When a cow moved in any direction, Hudson would bolt powerfully toward the barn, leaving me doing all I could to stop her and point her back toward the cows.  She would occasionally shake her head, but that was the least of my worries.

Eventually, and miraculously, we worked them in the right direction and got them running back toward their own barn.  I don’t know if Hudson every realized that she was actually herding them, and that we were in charge.  To her, I think it seemed like we, for some unknown and stupefying reason, kept following those terrifying creatures, and if they had enough sense to get away from us, why didn’t WE have enough sense to get away from them?

So, with the cows temporarily back where they belong, my head shaking horse and I continued our ride up the hill.  We performed a few all-out runs up steep parts, jumped a log and generally had a good time.

When we were on the way home, Hudson shook her head again, and that’s when I noticed that she was wearing her bridle like this:

Honest to God, I don’t know how long the bridle was hanging off her face like that, held in place by one ear, the bit and the throat latch.  But I clearly know why she was shaking her head, now.  I’m only hoping that it came loose late in the ride, and not at the beginning, when we first started out and she started shaking it.

My guess is that I had a bunch of her thick forelock under the crown piece at the base of her ear, so it wasn’t sitting snugly, and at some point – maybe right away, maybe during the cow chase, maybe during the rest of the very rambunctious ride – it slipped off her ear and hung over her left eye.  

Of course, when I noticed it, I yanked it back up over her ear and, big surprise, that put an end to the head shaking.

This is one of those don’t-mention-it-to-my-husband moments, but since he’s a regular reader (he says I tell things on my blog I don’t tell him in person), he’s about to find out.

This was a "Pony Club Fail," and I’m just lucky that the whole damn thing didn’t slip off while I was doing any one of the more ambitious parts of my ride today.

I wonder if I would have stayed on during the wild, bridleless dash back to the barn? 


  1. Good girl, Hudson, gooooooood horsie!

  2. She has her opinions, but she does take care of me.