It started off innocently enough. Casey and I were excited to take our gaited horses on a ride together, Casey with Daisy for her first ride, so I saddled up Harlan Pepper and we went up the road. Daisy was prancing and peeing, but was overall really good...not spooky, didn't buck or bolt, etc.
We ended that ride fairly shortly since Casey didn't want to push Daisy too much. I stayed on and let Harlan eat grass while Casey got Gus out of the pasture and saddled him up.
Ever since he arrived, Gus has not liked people getting on. Once a rider is on he's great and shows no sign of discomfort, but having something come up and over him really freaks him out. He reacts the same way to his winter blanket, so it's not just that he doesn't like being ridden.
Here's what I don't understand. If I were a fat pony and just bucked off my rider, I would a) run back to the barn or b) run back to my pasture. Not Gus. Gus ran AWAY from comfort.
Harlan and I trotted after him, hoping to catch up and grab his reins.That stinker just kept going...I got close a couple times, enough that my fingertips grazed his fur and then he was off again. At one point I jumped off hoping I could get Gus that way. Nope.
When Casey finally caught up to us on foot, Gus was in somebody's backyard. She went around one side and Harlan and I went around the other. We each took a step and stopped. Took a step and stopped. Took a step and stopped. Until fiiiinally, Casey was able to grab Gus. I helped her get on, then looked around for something to stand on so I could get back on Harlan.
I was wearing so much clothing (jeans, Carhartt overalls, two sweatshirts, and a helmet) that I landed softly and just laid there in someone's driveway laughing hysterically. Poor Harlan had no idea what was happening, but he stood patiently and waited for his lady to get her senses back.
The ride was uneventful after that. I told Casey I had fallen off so she didn't feel bad, so let's maintain that story, shall we? It's been a few years since I've fallen off, so I suppose it was time. I am very impressed with Harlan's reaction to my acrobatics (or lackthereof) and even just his whole demeanor while Daisy was her high-energy self. I love this guy!