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[RC] Loose Domestic Horses - April

The comments about a domestic horse running off with wild horses made me think
about the following.

One of the best connections I ever had with Tanna was after he dumped me.

We had been riding with a friend at a trail that parallels a recreational
highway (no commercial vehicles allowed). After our ride, my friend left and I
decided to go back out to get a few more miles on Tanna. So we headed out. For
reasons that I don't remember clearly now, I was irritated and the outing wasn't
much fun. For one thing, my stirrups were too long and I couldn't keep them, so
finally, I just turned back for the trailer. (I couldn't just shorten them, I am
short, so I'd already had to create extra holes and I was on my last holes. My
stirrups couldn't get any shorter without a punching device.)

Anyway, I urged Tanna to canter (like he needed urging). So here we are
cantering through the woods on a single track winding trail. Very fun and
exhilarating. Until we cantered over a large slick rock and BOOM. Down we went.

Tanna jumped up and took off, reins dangling. He was headed toward the trailer.
I gave chase and when the trail opened up beside the highway, Tanna missed the
turn back into the woods that would lead to the trailer.

He was on the road. I walked and jogged by turns down the middle of the highway
myself, slowing traffic behind me to keep them from running into my horse. I
couldn't see him, but I just hoped if I kept going, I'd see him. I was going
through scenarios in my mind, him hit, him lost, him getting tangled in his
reins and panicking. Not fun.

Finally, as I topped a small rise, I saw the most wonderful sight. Tanna was
trotting towards me energetically, head turned to the side to avoid stepping on
his reins. He was looking right at me and coming straight for me. Right down the
middle of the highway with 4 cars lined up behind him.

I had never felt more connected to him up to that point. There were any number
of things he could have done, but he chose to come back and find me.

We were both fine. Tanna didn't even have a scratch. I had some bruises, but
nothing serious. But our bond was strong. If he'd been with other horses, maybe
he wouldn't have come back, but he knew (without the herd mentality to egg him
on) that I was the person to be with. I was his herd.

Nashville, TN

===========================================================There are 2 ways to 
win at this sport. You take a horse and race him for a
short time and then find a new horse or you can take one horse , do the
homework and spend many miles and years enjoying that horse.
~  Paddi Sprecher

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