Month: March 2011

Riding bareback…

I rode my horse bareback today.  It’s the first time I’ve ever ridden her bareback.  I think the last time I rode a horse bareback was in 1993.  I fell off.  In fact, nearly every time I’ve ridden bareback (as an adult) I have fallen off.  So hopefully you can understand my fear and trepidation.

Two weeks ago, Flirt and I attended an endurance ride in Bandera, TX.  It’s a trail riding competition, 50 miles or more in a day, first horse across the finish line that meets all veterinary criteria wins.  Many of us don’t try to go fast, we love riding good trails that are well marked and vets checking on the horses along the way so none are injured.  We were entered in the training ride also offered, a 25 mile ride with one vet check at the 12 mile mark.  I was very, very disappointed when Flirt was slightly lame at the vet check trot out.  We were pulled.  😦  We went faster than I had planned, I’m so mad at myself.  Darn it.  Sigh.

Flirt is still stiff on her right hind leg.  I’m taking her to the vet/chiropractor next week (as soon as I could get an appointment).  My farrier was out on Tuesday and noticed that Flirt had some minor bruising on her hind feet.  So we mapped out a plan to help toughen her bare feet up a little.  We’ll walk her on fine gravel (like alongside a country road) starting with 15-20 minutes a day and working our way up to several miles over the next 2 months.

Thus my bareback experiment today.  I did not want to go to the trouble to tack her up for 15 minutes of walking.  So I bravely stood her next to the John Deere gator that has the hay in it, and quite ungracefully clambered aboard.  I was very nervous and felt all wobbly like I might just pop off at any second!  But I stuck to my guns and after 5 minutes was feeling pretty secure.  But not cocky, mind you.  We all know what happens when we go that route.  Lol…

Flirt was perfectly mannered, although I could tell she was wondering what the heck we were doing walking around the parking lot.  🙂

This week has reminded me that I can only make very loose plans with my horse.  We were supposed to go to a competitive trail ride (very similar to endurance) next weekend, but no.  We’ll stay home.  And that’s why I rode my horse bareback today.  It was fun.  It was unplanned.  It made my heart light.  And that’s enough.

Hope y’all are having a great weekend!


What is a horse?

horse  noun
1a: a large solid-hoofed herbivorous ungulate mammal (Equus caballus, family equidae, the horse family) domesticated since prehistoric times and used as a beast of burden, a draft animal, or for riding;
 b: a male horse; especially: stallion
 c: a recent or extinct animal (as a zebra, ass, or onager) of the horse family
2: a frame usually with legs used for supporting something (as planks or staging)
3: a mass of the same geological character as the wall rock occurring within a vein
4: an athlete whose performance is consistently strong and reliable
5: a game in which players take turns attempting to duplicate successful basketball shots

Okay, so I made my point.  A horse is a lot of things.  I happen to have one of those large, solid-hoofed, herbivorous, ungulate mammals.  She is a red-headed mare named Flirt.  I learn a lot from her with every interaction and I’d like to share that.

We’re learning dressage…
… but we love going down the trail!

You’re welcome to follow along and see what kind of trouble we can get into.  🙂