Summertime activities have been a little slow getting started around here, so it was just the other day that I decided to take my first trail ride in the woods. I read on interesting descriptive differentiation about horses the other day: “Some horses are good about being ridden only once in a while, and some need to be ridden/worked more often.” (1) My chosen mount for my trail ride was my Norwegian Fjord gelding Torrin, and he is definitely of the ‘need to be ridden more often’ type, so I knew our first outing would be full of games testing who was leading.
I chose Torrin, though, because it was also my first outing with our puppy William. I needed a reasonably well trained mount because I wasn’t sure what to expect from William. It had been a few months since we last rode the driveway with Shelley, and this outing was planned to be longer and on a different route.
Torrin did fine for the first couple hundred feet of our ride then started acting up where he had on rides in previous years. In the process of reasserting my intention to be the one in charge, I lost track of the puppy. When I finally did look up, he was a hundred yards away on the run towards the sound of my husband logging in the woods.
Not wanting to deal with two rebellious boys at once and fearing for William’s safety, I hurriedly dismounted, untied the reins back to a lead rope, unsnapped it from Torrin’s halter, pointed at a nearby patch of green grass, and gave Torrin the command, “Graze.” I then took off running and calling for William.
After retrieving William I began to wonder what it was going to take to retrieve Torrin. So you can imagine my surprise and my delight when I found him just where I’d left him, contentedly eating green grass. Good boy, Torrin, which is more than I can say for the puppy!
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2013