Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Extra Gaits of the Horse (probably works for mules also)

 --The Boink

 One-beat gait with suspension, often exhibited by horses ridden into a

field of white-tailed deer.

 --The Lateral Swoop

 A sudden sideways leap with shoulder horizontal to the ground, leaving

 the rider hovering briefly over where the saddle used to be before

 descending to the ground. Can be precipitated by a tractor starting up

 outside the arena, snow sliding off the arena roof, a large rock that

magically turns into a bear or a green plastic garbage bag.

 --The Whirling Dervish

 Advanced version of the Lateral Swoop in which the horse spins like a

 top, frequently launching the hapless rider a long distance by

 centrifugal force. Specialty of certain Arabians, often caused by

 viewing a 4-wheeler approaching on the trail ahead.

 --The Yahooey

 One of the natural Airs Above the Ground, a highly suspended movement

 exhibited when turned out or during the first canter in an open field.

 A variation is the Jet-Assisted Buck & Fart, in which the horse

 achieves maximum height and momentum aided by the loud expulsion of

 exhaust gas. Occurs on cold, windy days when the wind goes up the

 horse's tail and blows his brains out his ears.

 --The Omigod

 Sudden backwards movement accompanied by loud, rolling snorts, ears

 stiffly forward and eyes bugging out, exhibited by a horse that has

 spotted a monster (invisible to the human eye) advancing on him from

 the front. Can be precipitated in visible form by riding up to a large

 blue tarp, which the wind then moves slightly.

--The Hot Wheels

Speed gait in which all four legs rotate at high speed, often leaving

 rubber strips on the ground. Frequently exhibited by runaway ponies,

 rushing jumpers and horses returning to the barn.

 --The Shark Circling the Rowboat

 Characteristic movement of lesson horse in ever-decreasing concentric

 circles around the instructor, until the horse is in the center

 standing on the instructor's left foot and further progress is

 impossible. (Old school horses tell new school horses how to do this.)

--The Sloth

 Typical gait of school horse who has perfected the art of laziness. No

 perceptible forward movement, in spite of encouraging kicks, clucks,

 flapping reins, ineffective crop swats, shouts and jumping up and

 down. (Note: the Sloth can be transformed into Hot Wheels by the sight

 of the instructor advancing with lunge whip in hand.)

--The Flapper

Movement in which the horse shakes like a wet dog, totally terrifying

 the beginner rider. Horse then grins an evil grin and eats grass.

 --The Wallow

 Rotational movement performed on the ground, especially in mud, sand

or water. Always performed when the instructor is at the other end of

 the trail ride or not looking.

--Followed by the Upsie Daisy

 Which always occurs before the arrival of the instructor. Horse

 perfects the Wallow by rolling in mud, sand or water, usually defiling

 the purity of the perfectly clean saddle regardless of screams.

--The Snail Rocket

 The two walking gaits of experienced trail horses on the trail. Going

 out, the walk is so snail-like, time perceptibly slows. Coming back,

 trotting horses can barely keep up with the rocket walk. Essentially,

 horses perfectly understand physical law; the speed of the walk is

 directly proportional to the direction on the trail.

 --The Bobber

 Gait which old experienced trail horses proceed with child or beginner

 on back. Walk a few feet, stop, horse pulls reins through hands of

 beginning rider and eats grass. Repeat 50 times.