Thursday, November 4, 2010

I am Confident in my Seat...Right?

Yesterday was a rare beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest. Typically here, we have maybe two weeks of sunny nice fall weather, than the rain hits, and it stays until at least May. So I was more than eager to take on a trail ride invite from my close pal. After I accepted, I than realized that humm, Im still riding bareback. I pondered if one more ride in my saddle would be that awful, but quickly remembered Milo's woes on Sunday. Well, if Im going to go than its in my pink bareback pad.

Milo is a good trail horse. Not a super trail horse, but he does what I request of him, just stares on alert and has an occassional spook. As I always do on the trail, I wore my helmet. And I also thought it would be stupid on my part to not when I was bareback on the trail on a beautiful crisp day.

I informed my friend when we took off that she was not to laugh at me if I fell off. And yes, Milo's but does look big in the bareback pad. She said she wasnt laughing at that but rather the pink pad itself. Yeah well Milo is confident in his masculinity.

So off we went. Theres a particulary scary area right before the trail head with (what sounds like) a big giant dog on the other side of a totally enclosed fenced yard. The bark of the dog always makes the horses twitch or side step when we walk by. Milo had little itty bitty baby steps past the dog/fence and tried to skitter sideways from it. I made him sidepass into the fence. He did, tensly.

Milo bravely (cough cough) walked into the trail, a little confused at my feet rusling the bushes on his sides. He walked through the mud and puddles. I even worked on suppling, a little on lifting his back (did much better on the walk back home, LOL). We two-tracked from one side of the trail to the other, we did haunches in, and we worked a lot on stopping on his butt and backing. He eventually gave me a few good stops.

At one point, Milo got behind Missy. Milo likes the lead. He also likes to torment the horse in front of him; bitting their butt/tail, and generally being a pest. However, Milo and Missy as you may recall, have a certain love for each other (Missy more than Milo). She had no problem with his nose in her butt and he surprisingly didnt torment her. He did well in the back. A few times I had to back him off a bit as he starts to just go as the horse in front goes and tries to tune me out.

A squirrel ran in front of us. Neither cared much, looked but didnt do anything. Thirty seconds later, they both spooked big at something behind them, each giving about a half stride leap forward. We stopped and looked behind us. Nothing. Horses will be horses right? Maybe it was a killer squirrel.

Later, three teenagers emerged from a trail head, causing Milo to side step away from them. They seemed to that that was pretty cool. But we continued on our way.

Throughout the entire ride (more frequently on the way back home) Milo would stretch his nose down and lift his back. He first started doing this after his first adjustment from Sarah last winter when we first discovered his rib was out. Sarah said its a good thing, as in Milo is kind of trying to correct himself. Milo has been doing this a lot in the last few weeks, and a TON on the trail ride. So I knew something was definitely up from the saddle issue on Sunday. I have been working on trying to get his rib back in place, but Im not sure my efforts are working. One more day, Milo! You will get adjusted tomorrow!

The ride lasted until it was getting close to dark, about an hour and a half ride. I have to say too, I was pretty proud of my seat. Recalling now, even through the spooks, I didnt tense up and I stayed centered on my horse. It was a great reassurance for me. At the beginning of the year when I first established my New Years Resolution to get my seat back I would have never stood a chance of staying on. Even a few months ago I would have been questionable. With the continued bareback rides that are ahead of me, I think its safe to think that by the end of the year I will almost entirely have my "old" seat back. While I wont be taking three foot jumps bareback anytime soon (no desire, and no jumping horse) I think I will be as confident in my seat as I once was.

On a final note, an old barn friend saw a plea of mine via Facebook for anyone selling a cooler. She was gracious and gave me hers.
I was lazy and didnt buckle all the straps before taking a photo, and Milo wasnt too sweaty anyways. It fits his body well, but is too snug on the neck to velro down. Ive been able to use it though about four times now, and it works really well in drawing the sweat from his body and onto the blanket. Plus he looks pretty cute in it, doesnt he? :)

1 comment:

in2paints said...

Girl, you're brave!! :) I'm not sure I could convince myself take a bareback trail ride these days. I used to do it, but I don't bounce like I used to. LOL

Sounds like Milo was a good boy, and he looks adorable in his new cooler! :)