In Which Dino Adds "Ranch Pony" To His Long And Impressive List of Skills
Some of the gates on our farm are held shut with bungee cords. Over time the fenceposts have settled away from each other, the latches don't quite latch anymore, and we keep the horses where we want them by tying the gates closed with these cords. They work great.
Until the horses figure out how to undo them.
Last night I was riding Dino in the jump field, bareback and in the western bridle since that's how we roll these days, while Chance and Sully stood at the gate and looked on from the adjacent pasture. Not one to be left out of anything interesting, Chance started fussing with the bungee cord around the gate between the two fields, eventually got it off, and pushed the gate open. I yelled at him from Dino's back, and rode over to close the gate and re-attach the cord before the two hooligans could escape their pasture.
After only a minute more, Chance, who may not be as slow on the uptake as I thought, opened the gate again and led Sully into the field where I was riding. Frustrated, I dismounted and ineffectually tried to get Sully and Chance back into their own field, flapping the end of the split reins at them while Dino trudged along behind me, probably rolling his eyes.
The horses ignored me entirely, and I was getting irritated that they were sucking away the precious few minutes of daylight that I had left. I certainly didn't want to waste any more time catching them and putting them back where they belonged.
"Well," I said to Dino, "Looks like we'll have to do this ranch pony style."
|Ranch Pony to the rescue!|
It was a slow-speed roundup, but I rode Dino up alongside Chance and cut him off each time he turned to go further out into the several-acre field, blocking his path and turning him back towards the narrow opening in the gate. I wasn't optimistic that I'd actually succeed in pushing him through the gate and into the right field since the gate itself was so small and only partially open. Chance had a lot of places to go that weren't back in his own field. But to my delight it was easy to move Chance by blocking him with Dino's body, and Dino seemed to catch onto the task and stayed focused on keeping ahead of Chance.
After a few minutes of herding, Dino and I got Chance to go back through the gate into his own field! I whooped and laughed in victory, and then turned Dino around to gather Sully into the pasture. We pushed Sully right through the gate, and I pulled it closed.
And with that, Dino proved once again that he is the Most Versatile Pony On The Planet.
So, who's got some cows we can sort?