Wednesday, January 10, 2007

One of My Favorite Guys

This is my pal, Bailey; and my riding instructor Becky. Bailey is a Quarterhorse who is completely safe, but he has a definite attitude with beginning riders -- either you have it or you don't. We've gotten to know each other quite well over the past few months. He stands patiently for brushing but doesn't like to have his chest touched, and he'll reach back with his mouth to let you know. He's not a biter but he just wants you to know to make it snappy and don't linger on that spot.

You sometimes have to convince him that you know how to clean his hooves, or he'll jerk them out of your grasp and stamp his foot on the ground. But now that he has more confidence in me, he's been very good. He's a dream to tack up. He's has a very smooth gait and is a real pleasure to ride, that is, if you can convince him that you know enough to take charge. Who knew that I would love riding so much at my age! It's a wonderful feeling to be up there on Bailey and having him respond to my requests.

I've mastered the seated trot, and Bailey is a dream to ride at the trot. Even so, I took my first spill during my lesson on Sunday as Bailey and I were trotting around the ring. He stumbled as we went around the corner, throwing me unexpectedly to the left. I managed to hang on to the pommel to keep myself from being thrown completely off but found myself hanging at almost a 90 degree angle and unable to pull myself back up. I looked back at the ground behind me and tried to gauge how far it was and how much it was going to hurt when I fell. Luckily, I landed on the upper part of my butt and was only a little sore for a couple of days. Bailey, being the great horse that he is, stopped completely when he felt me lose my seat. Becky says you're not really a rider until you've fallen at least 7 times. I have no intention of trying to meet that challenge.


Knatolee said...

Your lessons sound GREAT, bumps and bruises aside. I am envious!

Crowzma said...

Are we traveling in parellel universes, or something?