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extreme, extremer, extremest...

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  • extreme, extremer, extremest...

    So, "extreme" for me so far has been the ordinary, everyday challenges presented by the places I ride--some improved trails, some logging roads, powerlines, dirt roads, asphalt roads, wooden bridges OVER the railroad tracks, and so on. The normal fare on these rides includes trucks, trains, cars, dogs, cats, snakes (poisonous and non) turtles, lizards, squirrels, deer, turkeys and other fowl, goats, pigs, cows (both within and without fenced boundaries)--that's what I contend with. Footing can be anything from deep sand to deep swamp to rocks.

    "Extremer" has been added since my parellified next door neighbor became consumed with groundwork on her trails involving various planted, unnatural hazards. She and her boarder spend a lot of time backing their horses between trees hung with windsocks, silly string, shower curtains. They back their horses thru sets of tires, thru little lanes made of dayglo painted milk bottles, over fake bridges and the like. I ride her trails nearly every time I ride and she keeps adding new and odd things (like lawn flamingos recently.)

    Yesterday we moved it up a notch. Came around a corner with my gelding and there was an artificial man sitting by the trail. (Picture the sort of homemade scarecrow or front porch Halloween dummy made by stuffing old clothing.) Now, I have noticed that nothing bothers my horses more than people who dont move and dont speak. Hawk was deeply suspicious but didnt spook. We got by the dummy with no problem. On we went, and we came at last to the Ultimate Trail Challenge to date (and I cant blame Parelli or the neighbor)--a LITTER of baby armadillos smack in the middle of the trail deep in my woods.

    These were tiny babies, about the size of a toy football, not much bigger than my hand, smooth and pearly gray/pink and cute in a repellent sort of way. We spooked them a lot worse than they spooked us. Armadillo litters are identifcal quadruplets, but it seemed for a second or two that there were about sixteen of them, because they pulled a chinese fire drill and bumped into each other in their panic before peeling off at a high rate of speed to the points of the compass.

    Its always SOMETHING.

  • #2

    Too funny!
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


    • #3

      For another "dummy" story, search Off Course for Safe-T-Man by JSwan. Hysterical!
      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


      • Original Poster

        I called my riding buddy about the hazards and we agreed we should either string Dummy up with a sign around his neck (maybe horse theef and man burner, an hommage to Lonesome Dove) or change his outfit some. I thought just a minute ago about putting a big Handlebar Moustache on him... Maybe save that option for after we construct a petite blonde ponytailed version and put the two of them in a compromising position.


        • #5
          Originally posted by jeano View Post
          I called my riding buddy about the hazards and we agreed we should either string Dummy up with a sign around his neck (maybe horse theef and man burner, an hommage to Lonesome Dove) or change his outfit some. I thought just a minute ago about putting a big Handlebar Moustache on him... Maybe save that option for after we construct a petite blonde ponytailed version and put the two of them in a compromising position.
          I love the Lonesome Dove tribute!

          But I really, REALLY love the one that followed. . .if you could somehow incorporate an orange stick into the "compromising" position. . .
          Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.


          • #6
            Oh, they must have been adorable!!! Too bad you couldn't have gotten a picture for us northerers...lol
            MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


            • #7
              OMG, I had to come out of lurking for this! I want a picture of them in a compromising position and the carrot stick must be involved! A fake one, of course, the real ones cost too much.


              • #8
                That is FUNNY! Our bigest monster is a bear in the woods. A big white teddy bear sitting in a tree as you scramble up a creek bank. Nothing compared to your adventures!


                • #9
                  The most extreme things in the woods at the farm where I board are turkeys, the occasional fox, cattle (including a huge bull), and deer. For unnatural stuff, somehow a part of a white styrofoam cooler is laying next to one trail and in another spot a bright blue shiny balloon has made it's way into the woods and is laying on the ground next to the trail. Oops, forgot the canoes on the rack by the pond and the jungle gym /swing set and basket ball court behind the BO's house, and the huge piles of round bales covered with silver sort of shiny tarps in the field across the road.


                  • Original Poster

                    Oh, God, YES, busted styrofoam coolers are out menacing horses here, too. The closest one is just across the street on a dirt road we frequent.

                    The all time Worst Booger my riding buddy and I have confronted (well, the pickup truck bed full of slaughtered pig parts and buckets of blood was pretty bad, come to think of it) was when we were riding alongside the paved road. On the opposite side, walking toward us, was a fellow toting a feed sack and a piece of vinyl siding about 12 feet long. He was silent, marching at us with the big long flappy horse-killing vinyl. Horses were rigid with shock and horror. We were laughing so hard we could barely speak but we BEGGED that man to stop and speak to us. He never responded. It was actually very dangerous since the horses could easily have bolted into the road, but fortunately vehicular traffic was light that day and we got thru it somehow.

                    I think giving Pat a Linda to do the hokey pokey with will be something we'll talk about, say we did, but wont....Irritating as the neighbor can be with her shrines to PP, she is a good Baptist, a really sweet lady and I dont want to be banished from her property for sacrilege. Plus, she might get over this current relapse and start riding out with us again. Its happened before.


                    • Original Poster


                      Okay, all y'all who want to see this ferocious trail hazard--Google images has many pics, this one is about the right age, very similar size. Now, multiply times four, and add the chinese fire drill. Bear in mind that they SCOOT when they run, and they left little wakes as they barrelled through the poison ivy and other undergrowth.

                      The adults when panicked BOUNCE as they run, they literally travel in leaps and bounds, though they dont look like they could levitate more than a quarter inch or so. The babies didnt seem to be capable of this maneuver, thank God.


                      • Original Poster


                        I KNEW there had a be a Natural Horsemanship-Armadillo connection!!! Presenting the 'Dillo Whisperer!


                        • #13
                          Where on earth are you? Midatlantic has nothing like that.
                          There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.


                          • #14
                            Love the armadillo pic! I can easily picture the Chinese firedrill.


                            • Original Poster

                              Where on earth I am

                              Honeychile, the armadillo line has been moving northward. I've seen their crumpled luggage-like carcasses way up in North GA. We are not awfully far from the exact midle of GA--South of I-20, North of I-16, E of I-75, and W of I-90.

                              Lots of 'dillos here. Theyre not just for Texans!

                              They tend to be crepuscular and nocturnal in their habits. They snuffle along, tear up your flowerbeds a little, eat worms and suchlike. Was riding along once and my mare galloped right over one and kicked it a good one in the process. It was stunned but not really damaged. Like Jack Russell terriers, "football shaped for a reason."