June 11, 2009

Please Read

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Don't be bored yet.
About my horseback riding.
Give me one little minute.

I keep getting better at it, loping more easily than I used to, loping like there is no tomorrow. And more relaxed, not scared to death.

Well, OK, my teacher is still quite attentive due to the mistakes this greenhorn tends to make. Like almost getting bucked off head first cuz my reins were way-slack when I asked for the lope. Slack reins, means Trigger could put his head way-down and arch and jump and there I'd go. Into the dirt from 9 or 10 feet up depending on what a great buck it was.

"That's a good way to get yourself killed, lady!" she shouted over the wild whooshing air as I loped all get out like a ninny.

"What?" I yelled over the wind.

"(inaudible)" she shouted from the farther end of the arena.

I went ahead and loped round and round loving it, though too fast gets a little nerve wracking. But, ever so gently I pull on the bit, while pressing his sides, then slide that bit ever so carefully, left, right, left, right to try to slow the horse, but only a little or he'll be back to a trot in 2 seconds. Using hand and feet aids [cues for the horses] and back and head and shoulder balance, I try for a steady beat, but it is sooooooooo hard. Why do I have to do all the work ? Why can't the educated horse do all the work for me?

Is it tricky because I'm feeding crappy, subtle, and confusing body language messages to Trigger? I guess I need a stupider horse who will just walk, jog, trot, lope w/o any input from his rider. That would make for a fun ride, but what challenge? Gosh this sport is exhausting, mentally as well as physically. So much finessing. And unfortunately I'm a large motor skilled, clumsy, type of human. Physical coordination was never my game.[witness how many holes I had in my tennis rackets]

But enough about the sport. More important news about the animals.

You may have guessed

we have a new lesson horse, Trigger.
Remember Trigger, softest of palominos, colors like delicate lady fingers topped with real vanilla whipped cream? Yum.

And you know Roy was my first boyfriend, when I was 6, right?
You do remember Roy Rogers, people!?

Well, very first true love was my next door neighbor who I'd been going with since I was 3 and he was 4. [he was going to marry me and we'd have fur coats and chauffeurs driving us around, he promised, my favorite boy in the world!]



Roy Rogers became my 2nd love interest.

Eight years later the Beatles would replace him.


Anyway, Trigger, the 2009 Trigger, could have bucked me off but didn't.

Trigger's been in a big field for the last 5 years. He was well trained as a young guy, but hadn't been ridden for all that time. Like a good pet, he is gentle and sweet and will as soon as fall asleep as walk around. That's a good lesson horse. Not much of a chance of him running away with his rider. Not much of a chance of bucking his rider off, no matter how lame she is.

Trigger takes a quite a bit of legwork to get him going to a lope, he'd rather stroll. So much legwork that my flimsy riding legs [though way-stronger than before]could only get him loping by a big slap on his shoulder with the end of the reins; not correctly on the belly, not a light tap, not like a competent rider who could use the legwork w/o the slap.

Not like the teenage girl, with the same color pony tail as Trigger, who mounted up after I staggered off, and got him going once and for all at the lope. "But did you see how difficult it was for me to get Trigger going? Especially on his least favorite lead?" [direction] it wasn't just you.

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Aren't those teenage girls just the best bunch of horseback riding partners for a 59 year old woman! Sweet and encouraging as new moms.

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