Monday, October 28, 2013

Memory Monday: Why Balance Is Importance

Instead of "one time at band camp", it seems to progress to "one summer camp..."

And this Monday, it's no different.  However, this memory was the day I realized that having good balance and a good seat was important.

See, I had subconsciously started to figure this out when I was younger and more stupid and willingly rode horses that needed some fine tuning.  Perhaps fine tuning is attributed too much to me as a riding, since it's implying I had some mad skills.  More like, I was the WD-40 that woke the horses up and asked them to please not try and be idiots on a daily basis.  Just please walk, trot, canter and go the direction you are asked with the proper number of hooves on the ground and in a period of suspension at the correct time.  Nothing more, nothing less.

So back to the story.

It was time to go round up the herd again.  Being horses, they eat a lot and there are lots of fields to send them out to graze upon.  Some are closer, some further.  The one involving the little Arab was a close field.  The one on this particular day: not so much.  It was pretty much the furthest point that one could go. 

However, the horse staff did get a little wiser.  If the fields were close, we would walk out on foot and catch a wiley steed which could be entertaining in forty-plus acres of woods at any point and time.  This location was so far that we had left some horses back in our home corral so we could saddle and ride out in the morning.  Saddles were also a new idea, but not a bad one considering we had chosen some "interesting" horses to leave behind, as it wasn't always fair to use the steady eddies.

I don't remember who I had originally rode out the night before, but it was a pretty reasonable horse.  My friend had chosen and rode out an off the track Thoroughbred.  I love them.  They are pretty cool, but understandably, can occasionally loose their marbles galloping in a large group until pretty well schooled.  This Thoroughbred was in the not-yet-well-schooled category.  Friend had saddled him up and on the way out, realized that this may be a bad idea. 

I try to be a nice person, so I offered to switch.  I reflected about 35 seconds later that may also be a bad idea.  After all, I had already had a major concussion earlier that summer.

Too late for second guessing oneself, right?

The group and I cruised on out to go find the herd of horses.  The saddle on my steed was a little uncomfortable and in typical lazy Semi Feral fashion, I hadn't bothered to adjust the stirrups.  Who the heck needs those.

The herd was eager to come in and pretty quick.  Some days, they move slower than oxen in Texas heat, but not that morning: unfortunately.

Steed and I spent a mile or two galloping mostly at a 45 degree angle to anything we were intending, exerting way too much effort for the task at hand.  I did find myself for once wondering why I didn't have stirrups.  Eh, just an afterthought.

At the end of the ride, I slid off the big gelding and realized something.  Somehow in the chaos of the morning, the cinch hadn't been knotted or done up properly.  I hadn't checked it when I got on because I had assumed original rider had and you know how these things go.  What I found was just a latigo run through a couple of times, giving the semblance of a cinch being on the saddle, but just barely.

It was the equivalent of one of those fancy belts on dresses actually serving a purpose. 

My next thought was how on earth was the saddle still on the horse?  We had galloped up and down a few hills, did a mile or two (or seven as I imagined in my overly active imagination), and not on an easy ride.  Someone else proudly exclaimed that it was the mystical term "Balance".

So, perhaps on that day, I found out why being balanced on a horse is important.  Of course, at that point I wasn't thinking beyond "Cool, I didn't get another concussion."

I also insist on trying to bring my own luck in these situations too. 

One more stepping stone on my path to someday being a good rider.  ;)  

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