It has been a tough year getting the quirks out of Alpine. We can now pick up all her feet (one at a time). We can now put our hand on the top of her head without her blowing up. It has been a long road, and a tough one to get her trust level up to where it should be. She is still the alpha mare of the herd, and not to be mussed with. All the time spent paid off today!
Elaine is away at family camp and I am into the-get- Alpine- used- to- trail -riding. I decided to wander over to our hay supplier's place to see when the cutting begins. With all the storms we did not get there. The swampy area was flooded and we had a bit of a tussle as to whether she would go through knee deep water and long grass. She did. When we got to a creek, the trail became impassible. Swamp on both sides and a ditch with about 4 feet of water in it.
So, we turned around and started back up the power line. On the way down Alpine was very reluctant to go past a certain spot. I spun her until I was dizzy and she complied and moved on.
Coming back I saw the reason for the reluctance. There was a good sized black bear feeding on the power line right of way. Alpine saw the bear and went to Defcon 3, and froze. Now this is my idea of the start of a nightmare. Horses hate bears and normally high tail it away at warp speed.
I hollered and waved and the bear stood up on its hind legs, took a look and headed into the bush. I waited a moment and then urged Alpine on. She walked by as if nothing had happened. Good horse!
All the time that I have spent with her was worth it at that moment. She accepted me as leader, and trusted me not to feed her to a horse eating bear.
Farther along, we spooked out 2 whitetail deer and she did not even flinch.
That was one of my worst fears, to meet a bear or a moose on a trail and get tossed. It's funny how, when the unexpected happens, sometimes the worst fear is in the anticipation.
Yes, I did have a camera with me, but discretion said to me, don't muss with a camera, she could still blow up!