The princess is pretty laid back about things. She takes life pretty much in stride. Sure, new things need to be looked at and possibly snorted at, but she's willing to accept most things as non-lethal with a pat on the neck and a bump with the heels. Mini donkeys, waving flags, barking dogs, big blue tarps, even sleeping cows are all okay in her book. She doesn't like them, but she can cope.
Running cows? Now that's another matter entirely.
I was catching up with her junior rider today who regaled me with the adventure of Fiona's trot sets this week. After a couple days off for that sticky right hind, the princess went out to keep another horse company during some trot sets. The galloping field we used to use has been turned into a cow pasture, so we are now using the lanes through an orchard. This is great for trot sets, but there's one small problem: cows. Not just any cows, friendly cows. Cows that like to join the horses on their trot sets. This was an entirely new experience for Fiona. Standing cows or sleeping cows are okay. Walking cows are still acceptable. Cows trying to run with her?
Evidently she decided at one point that enough was enough and took off like a bat out of hell up a hill while her companion trotted along calmly.
I've never heard of friendly cows that try to join the horses that trot by but I guess this is a regular thing for this particular set of cows. Of course, everyone knows what this means.
After this weekend is done, Fiona is getting her butt hauled out to that orchard over and over until she can cope with the cows. She's a smart girl, it's just a matter of showing her that the cows will not, in fact, eat her. I expect there will be some very exciting rides while this is going on. I'll be taking her out dressed for war (otherwise known as her full XC turnout including her boots and war bridle and my full seat breeches and possibly sporting my vest) while she gets her exposure.
Most riders try to avoid things like pastures full of cows that upset their horses. Clearly there is something wrong with my brain as I am planning on riding straight at them. I've been told on many occasions that I have more balls than brains. Seems an accurate assessment.