Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Killer Girl and Her Canine Accomplice: a tale from the road

So, remember how I was all Ms. Smug Person when I wrote that last post about how I'd solved all our trail riding issues? Um, yeah, this is Sofie we're talking about. No matter how many breakthroughs we have or how much progress we see happen, we will ALWAYS have "interesting" moments.

We returned to the road later on Monday afternoon. It started out just fine. We walked down the first hill, and I saw the school bus up ahead. "Oh, good," I thought. "We can see if Sofie is okay with school buses." She didn't seem to care (typical for her), even as it drew closer. Then it stopped and put up its flashers. Still not a problem. I began to realize that a kid was going to come out of it. I began to think things like "Oh, crap." Sure enough, I was right.

School bus = not at all scary

Girl getting off the school bus = terrifying

We were right across from the girl's house as she got off the bus and ran across the road, and, simultaneously, a German Shepherd started barking. "Oh, shit," I thought. Then I saw he was tied to the porch. So not as big an oh, shit, but it definitely still qualified. Sofie froze, staring rigidly at the girl and her dog. I tried to pull her head away from the terrifying scene. Not happening. This went on for a while, the staring and standing there. Gradually I realized she was just standing there, not bolting or doing anything stupid, so I just sat there and waited for her to start moving again. Killer Girl went to her mailbox to get the mail, which was newly terrifying. Sofie thought about running for it, but she was too scared, so she just went a little sideways as I tried to keep her facing forward. Killer Girl looked at us a little oddly. I said "Hi."

Finally we managed to go forward. She trotted a little and was very tense but didn't do anything too bad. I thought about turning back around and just going home, but realized that if I turned her around right then she probably WAS going to bolt or do something stupid. If I could just keep her straight and forward, she would be less likely to get fast and stupid on me. I figured when she had calmed down a little, I could turn back.

So we kept going. She was so tense and high-headed and her walk was so fast that she felt like a freakin' Tennessee Walker. But she was pretty good for me. She got nervous again when we came to her least-favorite house, which happened to have a bulldozer and a dump truck working in the back yard (WHY, I ask?), but she's pretty good about heavy equipment, so we got through it. We didn't make it all the way down the road, but we did get quite a ways down, and we made it past Killer Girl's house without further incident (partly due to the timely support of a fellow boarder and friend who came along in her car and served as an escort).

So it was "interesting". But we got through it, and I feel proud to have been able to deal with all that and still go on. Win.

More updates to come. No time for now. Later!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! I know sometimes for me, coming back from a ride where I was challenged and succeeded is a better feeling then coming back from a ride where I wasn't challenged. Congrats to both you and Sofie for handling it so well.