Just spent 2 hours with my daughter, the horse, the float! He’s not really Psycho Pony. For a start, he’s a darn sight taller than a pony. And that’s part of the problem. He is just plain terrified of floats. Had a fall once, and hasn’t been floated much in recent years.
Let me set the scene for you. If you’ve read my previous floating posts you’d know that after having various breakdowns with other people’s floats, I was pretty nervous about floating. I’d only started to feel reasonably confident recently. Harry gave us a bit of a doing initially, refusing to get in at times, but had settled into just a slight pull back on the rein – Oh for goodness sakes, just get IN. And he’d walk on. Tie him up, fix up the back of the float. And Bob’s your Uncle.
Not so the Spotty @rsed Monster! Knowing he was going to be hard to get into the float to get him home we asked a horse trainer/riding teacher to help get him on…………..OMG. I think it was only about 45 mins to get him on the float – but it was the longest 45 mins I’ve had in a long time. Firstly, he and the horses in nearby paddocks decided it was time to run around like maniacs. That horse had skills – he could jump/buck/twist/fart in midair! The instructor said ‘This is good, we’ll let him wear himself out first.’ He had more energy than you’d think. Once he was caught and led to the float he refused to come near it. Spent ages trying to get him near. She had to do a lot of ground work to get him near it. Then she did that ‘loop of rope over the @rse’ thing. She did get him into the float – but even if he got one step into it – he’d panic and smack his head into the roof and then because the float was viciously attacking him he’d ram his way out, smacking his head on the outside edge of the float as he went. He did that for about 40 mins.
It sounds tame written like that. It was not tame. It was scary! I’m going ‘Thank’s Spotty I dont need a 2nd sunroof!’ It kind of brought back all those things people tell you, like horses that kick out the sides of the float while you’re driving them around. The whole float and car was leaping up and down. He was totally wet with sweat. They finally got him in with food. Not just any food, really, really good stuff. TG he loves food. The next part was hard. Shutting the gate at the back. Had to pull the centre bar back in (screech, screech) then lean over that sweaty, spotty @rse without scaring him, pull the bar across, line it up exactly and drop the pin in. I think all the smacking his head into the roof stuff affected his ears because I got it done! Mind you he started leaping up and down in there as soon as we shut the front door.
I’m driving him up the driveway and the car is swaying and jerking and I can hear him scrabbling in the back. It’s 5pm on friday afternoon and I have to turn across the Monaro Hwy. I’m trying to pull very slowly and steadily across the road and praying like a madwoman. That horse scrabbled like crazy. I was wondering if he’d gone down, and thought I’d have to at least get away from the highway if we had to get him out. The instructor and person we bought him off were following me home. two corners down the road I was sweating as bad as the horse. The car was still leaping around. Every slight curve in the road set him off worse. I was trying to drive in as straight a line to our farm as I could, while avoiding cars and trucks. It was the longest 25 k’s ever. When we got him out……….well actually I just pulled the pin and he shot out dragging the instructor with him, he was dripping sweat and absolutely feral. I went down the paddock and said to Harry ‘OMG Harry I LOVE you!’
It’s taken us about 4 months to get him on the float again. We’ve spent hours, days, weeks, of doing nothing but getting him to go on. At one stage he would refuse and then decide to go on, and nearly run my daughter over on the way in! He’s such a big lad that it’s very scary! You can’t pull his head as he always throws his head up if you do, and then OMG the float’s attacking him again. We tried everything. A million times. Early last month we finally dropped the pin on the back bars, put the back up and drove him up the paddock. Got Mr Sweaty out – put him back in and drove him back down the paddock. It was like a miracle! My daughter then spent a good deal of time fiddling with riding him and less of the floaty thing. Almost Christmas, busy kid, busy mum. So just before she went away for half the holidays we put the Spotty @arsed monster back on………not very easily though. So tonight when she got back, straight out to the paddock. He went in, and barrelled back out. Then a huntsman spider ran out of the rubber siding and I had to kill it………..well I’m not going to ask a horse to go into a float with a huntsman! Usually I make the kids deal with them…but I was brave. Last time the horse got in the float the little black cat stuck its head out and said miaow! I’d rather the cat anyday myself! Still the horse went in and out about a million times. I was singing ‘This is the song that never ends, the horse just goes on and on my friend’ and my daughter was singing ‘This is a song that will get on ya nerves, get on ya nerves, get on ya nerves, this is a song……..’ We figured he might just appreciate the quiet if we got on his nerves enough.
After nearly 2 hours I finally got to lean over and drop the pin on the back bars. Shut the tail gate – run around tie him up. Shut the door……NOOOOOO. So the float starts rocking and shaking. I only drove around the paddock in figure 8’s for about 15 mins but it felt like a long time. The scary thing is that we have about a 40 minute trip tomorrow. It will probably take longer. I know people don’t usually drink before the evening…….I’m pretty sure I’ll be ready for one by the time we get to horsecamp. The horse probably will be too.
Funny thing was, the day I loaded Harry into the float in front of the Spotty @rsed boy? I’ve never seen a horse look shocked, like he couldn’t believe Harry would just walk on – just like that! Wish me luck tomorrow, we’re probably going to need it.