Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Back in the Saddle

For various reasons I haven't been on a horse since November 8. Today's lesson started out pretty shaky. It's frustrating and embarrassing, but I have trouble remembering all the steps and the correct order to tack up. I think part of this is because I am on different horses all the time and they all have their own tack. Some of them wear bell boots (protective covers over their hooves), some of them don't. Some of them wear a martingale, some don't. My trainer has started letting me tack up by myself, she says she forgets that I've only been riding a short while, and today that was definitely not a good idea.

First I put the pads on in the wrong order. It was supposed to be navajo blanket then saddle pad, I did them the other way. Then, while I put the girth on the correct side (with the elastic buckle on the left), I didn't cinch it enough, so when I had to get off so my trainer could fix the pads, the saddle slid off Angel's back and ended up on her side. If a horse could roll her eyes I'm sure she would have. I must have said, "I'm an idiot" about ten times today. Once I got on and started riding things got better. Willow told me not to worry, that at least I hadn't forgotten how to ride. And, I did tie the knot correctly in the halter rope while I was at the washing station. Seriously, there are so many things to learn. That'll teach me to go three weeks between lessons.


  1. Darlin' it happens to the best of us. :) Trust me - I'm have a three-week stretch where it feels I can't do anything right.

    Of course, the stacks of snow don't help. THis never happens here.

  2. Do you know how long it took me to learn how to tie a rope halter properly without having to mentally review it? MONTHS. And the other day, after a FOUR-DAY absence, I still had to stop and think for a moment. It happens. Be nice to yourself - the important thing is that you are still pursuing this passion of yours, even when it's less than graceful.

  3. Hi Donna,

    I'll tell you a story. My daughter and I had a vaulting lesson at this super-elegant hunter/jumper barn on Saturday. Our instructor had to leave to pick up her daughter and asked me if I'd put her Irish Draft horse Shakespeare up. I said of course I would. Jessie and I did fine until it came to the part where we had to blanket the big guy. I've had horses nearly all of my life, and have never blanketed one! Unbelievable, huh? I folded it like I'd seen some of the grooms doing and put it on Shakespeare's back. Then we had to deal with all of the straps and buckles. We stood there contemplating them, and I think one of the grooms knew we weren't sure what to do. So, this very kind man came over and gave us a short tutorial on how they work. I was so grateful! And it's nice to know how to do that finally. But I bet I'll struggle with it in the future again. I'm just like Deva with the rope halter knots!

    pax. Kimberly

  4. I'm always amazed when people think riding a horse means you get up on their back and off you go... it's an artform, for pete's sake!

    Glad to hear you are still riding, seems like something that is very good for you.

    Aren't horses the most beautiful creatures? They're my favorite animal, always will be...