The Boschee Farm Blog — On Visiting Family and Trail Rides

When Boschee Farm owner Lynndee was growing up in Colorado, visiting family members were always offered rides on the horses. Many of these same relatives still visit but they have noticed that unlike their past trips to Colorado, they are rarely offered a horseback ride during their visits to Boschee Farm. They have thus concluded that Colorado cow horses were just fine for riding but that Boschee Farm’s “fancy”  horses are not.

In an effort to dispel this perception of the Boschee Farm equines being unwilling to host visiting family, Lynndee determined it was high time that at least one equine (Scooter since he has no other real job on the farm) take on the role of offering visitors a little ride. And so, one recent day, Scooter was told that he would be giving Lynndee’s brother a ride to check out the countryside around the farm. Pele would come along as companion and Lynndee’s mount. And so, on a recent, warm fall afternoon, the group headed out into the surrounding farm fields.

The group had not gotten 100 feet from the farm before being met by a neighbor who drove his truck into the field to wave down the trail riders. He wanted to warn them that ATVs were out in full force through the wooded trails and farm fields. “Just want to make sure you stay alert,” he said. “It’s the young ones out there. Not the old guys like me who slow down for the horses”

Now aware of the potential risk, the trail group continued onward with ears wide open for the sound of revving engines. But alas, there was only silence as the group rode through the fields and through the woods following the very same trails often used by the ATVs. Pele led the way because Scooter had fallen behind, distracted as always with trying to keep bugs away from his face. He takes his bug phobia very seriously.
The trail riding humans and horses made it through the woods and back around the fields with not an ATV in sight — or sound — and breathed a sigh of relief as they rounded a corner and saw the farm in the distance. Yes, this was going to be a successful first test of offering visiting family a pleasant little trail ride. Scooter had now taken the lead and was happily moving down the trial now that the wind was in his face and blowing away the bugs. The foursome reached the end of the power line road and turned left following the fence line that was the final leg of their journey back to the barn. They were nearing the end of a perfect day’s trail ride. And then, it happened.

It was so sudden that no one could have predicted it. It was hiding in the tall grass along the field and seemingly as oblivious to the coming of the horses as they were to it. But when Scooter nearly stepped on it, it reacted — instantly. A duck — or a goose, it happened too fast for anyone to be sure —  flew up in panic, right in front of Scooter’s face. It panicked. Scooter panicked. It flew straight up. Scooter flew to the left (in denying he panicked, Scooter later claimed he jumped left to avoid being hit by what he called ‘the flying poultry,’ so-called by him because he said it looked like a chicken — only black).

The trouble with the evasive action taken by Scooter to avoid the collision with the flying waterfowl (it was certainly not a chicken) was that he jumped left then stopped, but Greg kept going and hence, Scooter was no longer under him, having taken only one jump left while Greg took two. Since, unlike the duck — or the goose, we still don’t know — Greg could not fly, the only place to go was down for a dirt landing. Fortunately, having ridden horses throughout his childhood, meeting the dirt was not a new experience for Greg. Scooter later noted how nice it was to have the opportunity to re-introduce Greg to some of his childhood experiences (“Humans seem to enjoy vacations that let them relive their childhood. Glad I could accommodate the wish,” Scooter later said.)

At this point, Scooter decided that if Greg was done riding he might as well go home. And so, he started walking home — not a hurried, worried walk home, but a quiet jaunt heading back to the barn. Meanwhile, Lynndee and Pele, after being assured that Greg was just fine (aside from a few bruises, which is why real experiences are so much more fun than virtual experiences) walked after Scooter telling him that he needed to stop and come back. He did stop, when he got to the grass in the Lynndee’s mother’s backyard. But when he saw that Lynndee and Pele were also walking toward him in the direction of the barn, he assumed that everyone must have decided it was time to go back home. And so he stopped grazing and continued onward toward the barn with Lynndee and Pele trailing behind. Pele, completely confused by the entire incident, struck up a conversation with Scooter…

Pele to Scooter: Where are you going?

Scooter: Back to the barn.

Pele: Why aren’t you going back to get the human and take him with you?

Scooter: He didn’t want to ride anymore. He got off. He can walk home too.

Pele: I don’t think he got off on purpose. I think that flying chicken scared him.

Scooter: I saved his life. Think what could have happened if that big bird had hit us! But I leapt out of danger and saved us both. Not my problem if the human got scared and jumped off.

Pele: So you’re just going home?

Scooter: It’s dinner time and superheroes like me need to eat.

As the day closed on this latest riding adventure, Pele remained confused, Scooter convinced that he was a hero who saved the visiting human from a bird attack, and Lynndee was thinking that maybe telling family visitors that Boschee Farm horses were too “fancy” for little jaunts through the fields might be a good idea after all.