Friday, May 12, 2006

Dirty Spurs and Poor Riding Posture

Today, the weather couldnt have been better. It was mid-70's and sunny. Perfect weather for branding. We didnt waste any time, we got down to business quickly and all 64 were tatted(branded) and ear-tagged by midday. We declined a lunch break and all 6 of us mounted back up and drove the herd to thier open range pasture about 2 miles away. I shared my 2 granola bars and rice-crispy treat, but it didnt go far stretched 6 ways! Not one steer bolted or strayed away, they stayed in a nice tight group. Riding back to the chutes we took a short cut on the North side of the creek. This is where B. rode up on a small Western Diamond Back Rattlesnake. It was a small one, not very old but certainly deadly enough to kill any one of us or our horses with 1 bite. The ride up out of the rocky creek bottom was a watchful one, watching for that one's siblings.

Western Pleasure was the first horse show class I ever took a blue ribbon home in during the 4-H events and open shows. It is such an easy event, especially these days with the 'pushbutton' horses with thier noses nearly scraping the ground. This style came into full fad about the time I started learning hunt seat with trainer MB. She was 4 years older than me and already an accomplished horsewoman from my home-town. I thought she was a walking horseman's bible. MB had a beautiful gray Arab gelding(Ziggy) who was a winner, he had a cheeky personality and everyone who met this horse fell in love with him. The summer before MB was leaving to go to U of M to finish her degree, I was lucky enough to show him in 4 classes. For all of us that hung out at her barn, I spent the most time on his back. I did a lot of schooling off of him learning correct riding positions: the shoulder, hip, and heel in a line. Also to have a straight line from knee to toe, and from elbow to wrist to the horse's bit. My back should be straight yet relaxed, and the legs and arms are to remain virtually motionless. I was thinking about this today while I was galloping across the praire like some outlaw Louis Lamour wrote about. MB would have been appalled. She was a stickler for proper posture, she also had a sadistic side I soon found out when she was not immediately satisfied with my posting ability. Off came the saddle and I did exercises bareback until my early teenaged legs were numb from fatigue. Shortly after I moved from N.MI I heard she had went off to VA and was judging Arabian Shows, she never did like Quarter Horses, I bet she's one mean lady judge.

All that reminiscing left me with a yearning for my stored away all-purpose english saddle. I always thought it looked more dressge type but thats not what the name said, it said Wintec All-purpose. One of the best rides I ever had in that saddle was when best friend L. and I rode trails along Lake Superior: Kitchi-gummi, a Chippewa Indian translation, signifies Great-water or Great-lake. Michigan has some tremendous riding trails, . Just make sure horses are allowed, once we went to Hartwick Pines in the winter off season, it seems horses werent allowed in that State Park, oops!


Blogger Cowgirl said...

Glad you had a good trip. I'm jealous...well, except for the can keep those.

Did she ever leave you on a lungeline?

Bareback riding and riding without stirrups are fun! I love posting bareback too...anytime you want to ride some english...I know someone who would love to have a visitor. ME! And Arabians...I can see one out my window right now!

9:19 AM  
Blogger BarnGoddess said...

cowgirl-Im glad you asked about the lunge line, all my exercises were done at the end of one. she was a good trainer but strict. Looking at my Wintec...I have some cleaning to do before I use it. My 12 yo said "mom, those enlgish saddles are so gay looking". then hubby 2 cents "what is the purpose of a saddle like that?" only fromt he mouths of rednecks!

9:35 AM  
Blogger butterfly_chic26 said...

Ewww snakes! I'm not afraid of snakes, btw, but you were in the country with alot of trees, and those trees have ICKY SPIDERS, yeah, I would just be freaking b/c of that!

I've ridden with both sytles of saddles, and frankly I feel more comfortable with the western one, because of the horn on it, I can hold on for dear life, lol.

I back in middle school through jr high my best friend, who owned 2 horses, and everything that goes with them, was trying to teach me how to esquirian (that's not spelt right) ride. I didn't like it, lol. Of course her horse scared the living pee out of me, and I refused to get back on him. She was a really good rider, she did horse shows all the time, what was amazing is that she was completely blind in one eye, and only had 1/3 of vision in the other. She totally amazed me on the things she could accomplish. She received several awards for her riding and showmanship. That's all for now.

9:49 AM  
Blogger BarnGoddess said...

butterflychic26-I can handle snakes, even huge anacondas but a spider will send me running. I hate them worse than anything. The ticks are BAD this year probly because of our non-existent winter weather. I like english saddles for thier close contact but where I live, and what I do, a western saddle is more practical. I am not suprised your friend is an excellent equestrianne!

10:07 AM  

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