We have contact!

Butt to saddle, that is. Or butt to bareback. And not for long. The windchill today is horribly bitter, and I also had the BO out with me to ‘help.’ She means well, but she strikes me as being more intimidated by Lucky than I am. I’m not, especially, besides a certain unease about riding I think is mostly just not knowing what he’s going to be like. I don’t find him to be especially sensitive about having his belly touched, nor do I think chewing on the bit is displeasure (especially since it’s a copper dee–I want him to be working it.)

In any case, the BO held him for me while I tried mounting from the stump in the arena. That was attempt number one, as either he is in fact taller than I think or I just don’t have the spring in my knees I once did (probably the latter) but he was in any case very tolerant of my hanging with one leg half over his rump. We tried the block next, the layout of which I’m not thrilled with–you have to walk the horse between the block and the fence, which is maybe a two and a half foot gap. Very narrow, easy to bang his leg on the block or mine on the far fence, plus reminiscent of the gate with the assistant starter over his head, as evinced by his desire to back out of it every time. Having the BO there did come in handy as I had her hold him and prevent him backing up once I was on him. Given he felt less than thrilled to have me on him without a saddle (and to be fair I have no idea if he’s ever been ridden bareback at all) just being able to walk him forward was good enough. It was also freezing and the wind was making drifts knee-deep (his knees) in the ring. Contributing to my decision to just try bareback was that he is fuzzy, and not having a cooler I don’t particularly want to get him in a sweat with a pad.

Speaking of the cold, does anyone else feel guilty putting a metal bit in their horse’s mouth? I have yet to find a good way to warm up his bit. Rubbing it in my hands doesn’t seem to help, nor does breathing on it, and we don’t have hot water in the barn.

And in dog news, four and a half miles of walks seems to at least slow them down a bit.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Louise
    Feb 06, 2010 @ 20:50:06

    To warm bits, I used to take a thermos of hot water to the barn with me. Or, when I forgot, I would hang the bridle around my neck, zip my jacket over it, and then groom and put the saddle on. By the time I was ready to put the bridle on, the bit was nice and warm.

    I think Lucky will be fine. Remember, he isn’t used to being mounted from a stand still. At the track, they mount while the horse is walking. Also remember that, though he is green in many ways, he certainly has had many different people on his back. He’ll be fine.

    Reply

    • luckytocope
      Feb 07, 2010 @ 20:45:57

      I racked up a knee with my old horse because of the stepping off, so believe me, I’m familiar with how they mount at the track. (I don’t think Benny ever stood still for mounting and I had him a little over fifteen years, so Lucky’s actually way ahead of him there as he’s not inclined to walk off with me.) I actually was explaining that to the BO. I’m more concerned with the need to go *backwards* once I’m on. Though it may work better for me to just get on and let him walk forward, which will mean really getting out there when the BO isn’t around. Riding alone is not the smartest thing in the world, but I don’t know that if he walks off, or even if he decides to bolt or scares himself, that she’ll know how to get out of the way. She’s not a bad person, and she takes good care of the horses, I just get the feeling she’s not all that good at reading their behavior when it comes to handling them. That makes me more nervous than anything he does.

      I ought to get a bareback pad–I doubt he’s used to someone riding bareback, and while he doesn’t have the shark fin some of the really tall TBs are prone to, I don’t think it would be all that comfortable for more than a few minutes!

      Reply

  2. Sprinklerbandit
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 11:39:40

    I leave my bridle in the heated tack room, which is a sweet option to have. >.> Other than that, I’ve heard the warm water method works well.

    As for riding alone, yeah, it’s not smart, but it’s extremely impractical to expect someone to always be there watching you when you ride. If I’m going to be out of sight of where reasonable people might be (a road, well used trail, something), I try to have my cellphone along on vibrate so if I have a nasty fall, I can call someone.

    Of course, that assumes that I’m both conscious and within range of cell service.

    Reply

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