Would ya look at that?!
Went out to ride the boy last night, another late night ride, I think we both must be night owls - everything just works out for us late at night.
We did a bit of a warmup and I was fooling around with getting him to trot the barrel pattern, and then I was getting him to do figure 8's around two barrels - No hands! GOOD BOY. It was just one of those rides were I was kind of goofing around with him, and he seemed happy to follow along. Then I asked him to lope his left lead and BAM, perfect, absolutely fricken beautiful. I loped a small circle, one-handed, reins on his neck, and he just loped nice and slow around the circle, didn't try to break down, didn't try to throw a fit, just nice and slow and quiet.
His right lead wasn't AS pretty, of course, but he wasn't taking the circle so I asked him to lope the rail, which he did, and then as we came down to the end of the arena I got him to lope a small circle - he did it, beautifully. GOOD BOY.
Then, we trotted the barrel pattern, and loped home. He used his hind end and whipped around the barrel. GOOD BOY.
& Then... well, I decided to do something I've never done before...
Last weekend a friend of mine came out and asked if i've ever ridden Jingle bareback, which I haven't. He probably didn't mean anything of it, but it, for some stupid reason, the comment stung a bit, and then he made some comment along the lines of "Jingle doesn't like when I put weight on his back". Jingle isn't weird about weight on his back?! WTF?! I always lay over him and cuddle him.
I don't exactly love riding bareback, I used to ride bareback a lot when I rode outside in -30, because it would be too cold to even think about a saddle. & trust me, loping through snow drifts bareback gives you some darn good balance, and good core strength.
I then, at 18, attempted to jump on a green horse bareback and was dumped on my bum and broke my wrist pretty badly. After that I really only liked riding one horse bareback, Jed, to bring horses in, in the morning, but I trusted him with my life. He was one of those horses that would correct for you if you lost your balance, and like, attempt to catch you if you went to slip off. He was wicked. My core balance isn't bad - I can jog, post, and lope bareback, but honestly, I just prefer riding in a saddle.
& then I looked down at my horse that follows me around like a puppy, and clearly loves me as much as I love him, and thought - well, let's try this. I got up on a step and put weight on his back, he was fine, laid over his back, he was fine, put a leg over his back, he was fine. Then it got to that point where I realized MY horse was perfectly fine, and I was the one with the issue. This realization happens for me almost daily. So I clambered up there. He seemed confused at first, and only wanted to back up, so I asked him to turn a couple circles to get used to my weight, and then asked him to move forward - he wouldn't. I then, once again, realized this was MY ISSUE and so I sat up, pulled on my big girl pants, and nudged my horse and told him to walk, and then he did. We wandered around the arena, he cooled down, and I gave him a massive hug and told him once more, GOOD BOY.
I love my horse.
My mom once asked me if Jingle was the horse I should buy, and at the time I was unsure, I knew buying him was an emotionally loaded purchase. Now I know that he's becoming the horse that I should have bought, and I'm becoming the rider that he needs.
Such a nice warm fuzzy feeling.
Do you guys ride bareback at all, any Stacy Westfall readers out there?! or are you like me and prefer to be seated in a saddle?