Went for a ride with Mom and Bill today in the Wild Basin area. Estes got hurt on Tuesday when she got spooked and ran off a ledge in the pen, and unfortunately, used a chewed up tree stump as her brakes. Since she was out of commission I had to Cowgirl Up and ride Washoe the Wonder Idiot. Except today, he wasn't really a Wonder Idiot, he was remarkably well behaved. I wouldn't go so far as to re-name him Washoe the Wonderful, but maybe Washoe the Not-Such-A-Big Idiot.
He behaved like a grown-up horse for the most part. He balked a little bit crossing the first set of bridges, but then so did Jesse and Ranger. Bill finally dismounted and led Ranger across the bridge. Once the horses saw that there were no horse-eating trolls, they all followed like good little mutts.
There was only one time when Washoe really tested me, but he actually had a reason this time. The last time I rode Washoe, he fell off the side of a trail and then popped me off his back. He didn't actually buck that time, he just wasn't strong enough to stand up from his kneeling position, so when he hopped up, I got popped off.
We rode through a cloud of horse flies on our way back to the trailer. He did a pretty good job of just dealing with the flies, but then one got a chunk of his butt and he set to crow hopping. Bill said he wished he had his camera out, because Washoe cleared a foot and a half. I managed to stay on - in actuality, I was so stunned that he was pseudo-bucking that it never occurred to me not to stay on - and get him calmed down a little bit. He calmed down enough to stop jumping around, but his tail was going a mile a minute and he was tossing his head trying to get rid of the buggers. I can't blame him at all for today's little rodeo - if horse flies were biting *my* ass, I'd throw a temper tantrum, too.
All in all, a damn fine day.