Sunday, June 28, 2009

A bareback ride and a mini fridge

In my excitement about our progress with the trailer, I neglected to tell you about the other things that happened today (Saturday) at the barn.

First of all, I got a pretty good bareback ride in. We only walked — I'm still not feeling comfortable enough bareback to trot on a horse with a balance beam for a back. (Not because he's underweight — he's actually pretty round — but because he is still what my saddle fitter calls "slap-sided," which means that his adult musculature hasn't filled out quite yet.) It's getting better than it used to be, but I still feel that either he needs to fill out more or I need to improve my riding skills before I'll be able to trot safely on him bareback.

I still love riding bareback, though, because I feel like we get so much out of it, even at a walk. We are both so much more sensitive to one another that way. He does virtually perfect turns on the forehand when I ride bareback, for one thing. He also did much better stops today, perhaps because I was practicing paying more attention to shifting my weight back when I asked him to whoa, and perhaps just because he could feel what I wanted a little better.

We even crossed the bridge twice. This was a feat for me especially because I feel so much less secure without a saddle, and I worry about him grazing the handrails on the bridge and freaking out because of it. (He seems to forget that my legs make us wider, and it startles him when my leg grazes something. I've learned to use leg yields to prevent it from happening, but I still worry, as the last time I took a pretty bad fall.) But he went over the bridge fine both times, and he even controlled his walk down the other side, almost as if he was taking care of me because he knew I wasn't ready to trot bareback.

The other piece of news is that the property owner ran an extension cord to the tack room so that I could plug in the mini fridge I found on Craigslist recently so that we could keep refrigerated medicines in the tack room. This is a necessary part of the first aid kit that I am putting together, as my vet wants me to have a "colic shot" on hand, which should be refrigerated in order to last a decent amount of time.

I found the fridge on Craigslist and bought it for about $35. It measures just under 2 feet in each direction, and even has a teeny tiny freezer compartment. Now whenever I open the tack room door, I am greeted by the quiet hum of my fridge.

Mini fridge in the barn tack room

It was a big day for barn stuff. I'm determined to get out there again tomorrow — hopefully I'll have just as good a day!

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3 Comments:

At June 28, 2009 at 3:40 AM, Blogger Kate said...

Sounds like good progress with your boy! I learned to ride bareback as a child, and rarely rode in a saddle until I was in my late teens. My younger daughter only rides her extremely high-strung and reactive mare bareback - on the trails and sometimes at high speed - and manages to stay on through Dawn's acrobatics. She says she can stay on better bareback because she's closer to the horse. My mare gets a bit agitated when ridden bareback - she's also 16.2 which makes getting on a challenge, particularly at my age! - I think she's never been ridden that way.

 
At June 28, 2009 at 8:39 AM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Kate - 16.2? Outrageous. I need a step stool to get on my 14.2 hand horse with stirrups.

Katharine - I've been toying with the idea of riding bareback. Maybe in full breeches. I have to consider which pair of jeans I wear when I ride, because some are more slippery than others.

 
At June 28, 2009 at 12:40 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Kate, I know what your daughter means, because I can definitely feel that my center is lower when I ride bareback.

When I was learning to trot comfortably, my trainer put me on her horse with just a bareback pad, which taught me a lot about balance. Unfortunately, Panama is a 750-pound horse, which means he is SO much narrower than my trainer's horse. There's much less margin for error when riding Panama bareback -- you don't have as much time to adjust your center if you're starting to fall.

NM, I'd never thought about my choice of jeans making a difference in how slippery bareback riding is. I'll have to try different pairs and see if I can figure out which ones are better for riding bareback. Thanks for the idea! ;o)

 

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