SWR Blog: “Horsing Around with Harmoni” – Gunner
…he says he never knows when a bird is going to fly out of the grass and hit him in the face”
Everyday I work with the greatest ranch crew and I’m not just talking about the humans. It’s always the horses that make the days interesting. So, for my next series of blogs, I will tell you about each one and how they fit into my daily routine.
GUNNER, a six-year-old quarter horse, is one of the guys I ride on a daily basis. He is a wonderfully sweet boy with a heart of gold and no end to his willingness. Gunner has a long and beautiful mane, but because the grass on the other side of the pipe and cable fence apparently tastes so good, part of it got rubbed off in the reach. Gunner is the most wonderfully level-headed six year olds I have ever ridden. That is, except when it comes to birds.
Gunner and I have been taking quite a few long trail rides lately to build up some endurance and muscle. I have discovered that while he is unflappable in the arena, he is not yet a huge fan of trail riding. He told me that his nervousness is mostly because he never knows when a bird is going to fly out of the grass and hit him in the face. Amazingly, this unlikely event actually happened last week when we were out for a ride. I could hear the Quail calling, “Bob White, Bob White”; so I knew that there was one close. But nothing prepared me for what happened next.
Gunner was walking out nicely and really stretching out. The next thing I knew, a bird flew up and actually hit Gunner in the face…bam! The next thing I knew, he was trying to run sideways. That was, of course, exactly where the bird was trying to fly. It seems that in Gunners mind, this “monster” bird was chasing him. Going to a safety seat, I turned him back and walked away from that kamikaze quail. Once reaching the safety of a quail-free barn, I swear Gunner sighed with relief.
Now, I just have to figure out how on earth I’m going to get a quail tied onto my horseman’s stick to flag him out.