Saturday, February 1, 2014

Just Keep Riding

To the tune of Dory's Just Keep Swimming...

Just keep riding, ridin', ridin'...

OK, so today at the barn was hopping when I came.  There were quite a few people in the indoor arena, so I elected to just brush the filly and turn her back out.  There was a lesson going on and with multiple people riding and a fresh horse in a smaller indoor, I didn't think it would be fair to be a human pinball.

So I elected to go ahead and wrestle with my saddle when I was done with the filly.  I had purchased a new pair of Bobby's Leathers a while ago, but haven't sat down and actually put them on, so I went ahead and did that.  I straightened my locker up a bit and then went back out to catch the semi feral mare to get her ready to ride.

The filly is really masquerading as a goat with all that winter hair

I had just pulled her out of her field when I saw a loose horse streaking by on a nearby path, saddle under his belly.  We coordinated a rescue effort outside and caught the gelding, resaddled him the right way up and brought him back up to the barn.  Fortunately, his owner seemed to be OK and I hope that she just has some bumps and bruises.  Not sure what set the little gelding off as he has been such a steady eddy, but we all have our off days.  Something certainly scared him to high heavens.

So another person hopped on him and made sure the gelding was OK.  One thing I had noticed too in the past was that the advice of getting back on wasn't just for the psyche of the rider: it's for the psyche of the horse as well.

Years ago, I witnessed an ugly accident in which a girl fell off of a little Tennessee Walking Horse gelding.  It really wasn't the gelding's fault, but the girl had a badly fractured wrist/arm, so obviously didn't get back on again.  I had led that gelding back home a couple of miles.  Later that evening, I rode him and that poor little gelding was shaking like a leaf.  His confidence was hurt.  We had a good ride and his spirit slowly came back. 

So I am glad that the gelding tonight was able to continue on and have a few good minutes of riding so his confidence isn't shaken.

After this fiasco, I thought twice about riding again since it has been a while since the mare has been in work, since we had another arctic blast.  But, I went ahead and lunged her to gauge her feelings. 

She was pretty good, so just keep ridin', ridin', riding...

I hopped on and went back to basics.  She is getting easy to bend and counter bend.  A few steps of good leg yield.  A nice relaxed walk on a loose rein.

The Clydesdale bouncing around at the other end of the arena was a little unnerving, but she was good overall.  So just keep ridin'...

And to help keep riding, check out these contests!

SheMovedToTexas is giving away breeches.  How can anyone go wrong with that?

Adventures With Shyloh is giving way a choice of prizes: a saddle pad, tendon boots, socks, or a grooming set.  Check it out!

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