Last Monday Gilly and I were out in the evening for a ride. He seemed a little nervous, ears constantly moving, listening for something. Probably a horse eating monster of come kind to pop out of the woods and eat him!
We rode up the creek on the road, both dogs, Lucy and Gonzo where with me. Everything was peaceful; a truck was approaching and I moved Gilly to the side of the road. It was some friends and they stopped to talk for a bit. Gilly was still on alert; on up in a hay field three deer ran across the field and disappeared into the woods. He watched.
It was after 8 in the evening so I decided to head back home; which was in sight of where I was. We did some trotting then fell back to a brisk walk.
When we were almost to the driveway (see picture above, I have labeled were Gilly was on the road) a great whooshing sound and a flapping of huge wings is what I heard next!!! A Blue Heron came up out of the creek right in front of us! (I didn't take these pictures, obviously!)
This bird flew right up in Gilly's face! It was so close that I could have reached up and grabbed it's legs, so close I could see the scales, or what ever you call them, on it's legs!!! Talk about a heart attach!!!! I thought at first, oh no, not another wreck!!! But then I remember that earlier I had read Kate's blog (A Year With Horses) about her clinic with Mark Rashid. I am so thankful that I read that because I think that it saved me from a bad wreck. This is what I did:
When I saw the wings spread and start to fly up I held Gilly steady, took a deep breath and sunk my seat into the saddle. Blew out my breath like the horse does when he relaxes and just waited. Gilly only looked up as the bird flew over his head, then it landed in the trees behind us, in a flurry of flapping wings and crashing branches! I took another deep breath and asked him to move forward, he did as if nothing had happened!!!
I just kept thinking and picturing us riding down the road calmly and kept my hands and legs still and relaxed; my breathing slow and steady. It kept me calm and Gilly too; there is a lot to be said about sending pictures to the horse with your mind..........I for one believe it really works!
How would you like to see this flying over your head while on your horse??? Yes, they are beautiful, graceful birds; but with a wing span of anywhere from 3 to 5 feet they are pretty frightening when you think that your horse would have a heart attack and explode!
I hope that Gilly gets used to them since there are many of them around here right now, seems like more than usual.....I call them Terradactyl, pretty scary when they come flying up and surprise you! LOL
Hope to be riding again soon but right now it's really hot and humid and the monster horse flies are now out in force! Makes it hard for the horse and me to be out, none of the fly spray seems to have any effect on them so if I want to ride I will have to do it in early morning.
Does anyone have any really good fly spray to recommend that knocks out these terrible flies???