This weekend, while Ali is at home doing things with her soccer team, her sister Dani is visiting us. Yesterdays storms prevented much outdoor activity, but today is bright and sunny. After church Dani wanted to ride Maggie. Her is a rare photo of her slacker face. (Comedian Tim Hawkins says it takes more muscle to frown than smile, so smiley people are slackers.) Usually Dani is wearing what she calls her default face...
This photo is proof that Maggie does know what the word whoa means...
Since it had rained over two inches yesterday, we had to stay in the back pasture that is already destroyed. Good thing! If it hadn't been for the rain, they would have probably been in an open area outside the fence.
I led Maggie out of the paddock to the grassy part to let Dani mount up. I envy how easily these young girls can pull themselves up onto this tall thoroughbred. Dani has a smashed toe and can only wear flip-flops right now, so she had to ride barefoot. Not my top choice, but barefoot is safer than flip-flops. Unless they're just walking in the round pen or being led by me, I usually have them wear a helmet... But it's Maggie, right? She's so gentle and sweet, and at 28 isn't really in a hurry to go anywhere.
After I watched her circle and stop several times, I was confident that Dani could easily handle Maggie. I went in the house to get my camera. I didn't want to be gone too long, so I went out the bedroom door near where Dani was riding and walked over to the fence. It was wonderful watching her trot and circle. It was a little hard for her to post with the sore toe, but I think she did great. I love watching Maggie trot; Her long, slender legs are so graceful. As you can see, I shot these pics and video from outside the electric fence.
My camera shut off at this point The batteries were too low to take any more video, so you'll have to take my word for what happened next... Well, I'm not really sure what happened next... Either a wild spirit horse possessed Maggie or a horse fly bit her on the behind. Whatever it was, it scared the bejeebies out of me! Papaw had just come back outside and got to witness it too.
All of a sudden Maggie took off like the racehorse she used to be! I screamed instructions to Dani, but she was doing the best she could to hold on for dear life! I screamed at Maggie to whoa... Remember, she knows what it means. I could see the devil in her eyes as she stole my firstborn grandchild from my sight. She barrelled down the straight track and headed for the gravelly paddock. It was a nightmare! My heart raced as I ran toward the barn, screaming Dani's name. Maggie and Dani disappeared behind the run-in shelter, still going full-steam ahead! There's only a few feet on the other side before the fence closes off the paddock. My best hope was that Maggie would spin and toss Dani off into the manuer pile. Not a happy thought, but at least it's softer than landing on hard packed clay and gravel. I was in a panic!
Then I heard her voice... that tiny, soft, delicate voice I love saying, "I'm OK." Then she appeared... still on Maggie... walking back toward me with a huge smile on her face! It was one of those smiles you see on people as they exit the latest thrill ride at the amusement park. Her legs were trembling as she led Maggie back to the barn door. I laughed and asked her if she was done riding for the day. She laughed and said, "Yeah, I'm pretty tired now."