Wow! So that was...something!
Yesterday was a stunningly beautiful day, FINALLY. An intermittent brisk wind was blowing and it was in the 70's; absolutely perfect for riding. It had rained the night before, so every time the breeze died down the mosquitoes took full advantage, though luckily it still wasn't nearly as bad as it's been.
However, Miles has become SO sensitive to bugs in the arena he was still a little head-shaky and stompy. We hadn't ridden in a week and the wind was coming in strong gusts, so I dusted off the lunge line (!! We hadn't used this thing in a couple months:) and off we went to work. He was reasonably good, moving great, but a little spooky. Nothing horrid, so I got on after about 10 minutes.
We were just finishing our first warm up circle when a car pulls up and two dudes get out, along with a little Yorkie who I think is named Goose. I know these 2 guys are not horse people because I hear one of them say, laughing, "I don't think Goose has ever seen a horse before!" as the dog runs off and dude lights up a cigarette. Not that horse people don't smoke, but generally not near a frigging BARN, even if they were in the gravel parking lot.
ANYWAY, sweet lil' preshus Goose comes trotting straight for us. I should mention that Miles has been around allllllll kinds of dogs, large and small, and never bats an eye. However, this particular dog he gave the stink eye as soon as he lept out of the car. I should have dismounted right then. Still, I'm thinking, 4 pound dog, Miles likes dogs, what could happen? It was weird that he was so interested though-that should have told me something. So, Goose comes up to us and Miles lowers his head to sniff, being a perfect gentleman considering this dog approached with such bravado. All is well for about 2 seconds, until Goose decides to LUNGE at Miles face and yapyapyapyapyap. Miles does a gorgeous spin to the side (which I stay with!) and Goose runs off. Whew. Could have been worse. I figure the 2 dudes, who are laughing, will now leash the little effing monster and all will be well.
Come on, right? Again, I should have gotten off. But, we had just started and it was so gorgeous out that I start putting us to work, though Miles and I still keep an eye on the tiny terror as we trot the arena and Goose runs off into the field. Dudes stand there, calling Goose occasionally, and are being quite ignored.
Sigh. Goose is coming back-this time he is RUNNING at us, barking like crazy. I finally grow some balls and say, "You need to come and get this dog out of the arena before I get thrown." Goose reaches us and starts again with the bared teeth, yapping, leaping routine. Miles, all things considered, is being saintly-picture a cutting horse if the cow turned on the horse. He is spinning, leaping to the side, doing everything he can to hold himself together and still get away from the little bastard. I have NO idea what is taking the dudes so long to get their little shit because I'm trying to stay with my horse and stay calm and stay ON. Finally, Goose is scooped up and taken out, with a laugh and a "sorry". Sorry? Did they think what just happened was cute?! UGH.
Still after everything, it was really a hilarious experience. I looked at the arena and the tracks that Miles made in all his acrobatics and I was pretty impressed. I was happy that I stayed with him during all his athletic Hot Moves (tm) and never really came close to being unseated. I stayed loose, sat up, and grabbed mane. I'm proud of myself that I didn't clutch at the reins or freeze up. I'm SO proud that Miles didn't bolt or rear or buck or do anything other than try to get away from Mr. Goose while keeping his head and taking care of me.
After all the drama, I continued to work Miles for another 15 minutes or so and he was wonderful. We jumped a small cross rail and called it good. I called it real good.
If they ever start Dog Dodging as an equine sport, we are going to kick some ass:)