The great debate! So I get the idea of having soft hands, correct feet etc. Spurs are an extension of your feet, not go fast torture devices. But have you ever “walked on eggshells” around a horse for fear of them spooking?
So I have a theory that I share with some friends. If you don’t ride your horse like a dead broke, seen it all, sane horse, then you will never get them there. I don’t mean jerking them around. I mean, throw the saddle on them. Don’t be quiet. Talk, dance, sing…. When you pull off the gear, pull it off. Let it hit the ground. I mean, take care of your stuff but don’t be all whisper quiet! The horses need to get used to random stuff too. If you have ever heard me run barrels, yes I said heard me, you would get it. I have tried to run quiet. With my mouth. But, my horse is like “mom? Are you ok?”. So I’m loud. Sorry!
Today we gained photographic evidence of our “horse’n around”! We call it Equine yoga! Needless to say, my horses really put up with a lot! We also carry pop up barrels, poles, ice chests and even chairs around from the saddle. I use my barrel horse to trim tree limbs because he is tall! He is used to them falling on his head! It happens!
So let’s all think about that the next time you go to saddle that flinchy horse!!! Swing wide! #resbarrelracing #resridinglessons #noonefellofftoday
A while back, Whiskey and I had a come to Jesus meeting over spurs. Sadly, the ground is harder than it used to be. I did get back on. I did make him lope 5 laps each direction before releasing him for the day. I did go to the ER. It seems that my 44 year old body does not bounce and my rebuilt hip as well as my slowly deteriorating spine are not going to put up with my shenanigans anymore.
While some might scoff and tell me I’m being a wimp, you are not paying my medical bills so hush! On the flip side, I knew I needed outside help to get this 70 days rode colt going. I did hire one guy that came out four whole times over 3 weeks thus ending our contract due to lack of work. Then… we met Ashley! Very convenient since he is living with my best friend and Ashley lives right next door! He has been there for about 10 days now and she has gotten him over his attitude over spurs. She is riding him daily as well as hauling him to a covered arena to ride and expose him! He will also get ridden during roping practice, through the field and the trees and basically just get those hours of training he needs to become a solid citizen!
My brain doesn’t recognize that he “bucked me off”. No. It was more of a “he got me out of place and I fell off” thought. I’m not afraid of him. I just knew that he needed some heavy riding to help him understand what work really is!!! I think he will become a great “do whatever” horse! He has a solid sliding stop! He is super soft in the face and really has a motor. He is a little on the lazy side. I much rather speed up a lazy horse than slow down a crazy horse so he is my type! I mean… have you met Gabe and Lynx? They were/are the same way!
Who knew that this little bay would come to me and become something? I didn’t! Honestly, his breeding is way more cow/show than anything. He is super athletic and built really nice! I sure look forward to our future!
When it comes to horses, in any discipline, we all have our way of doing things. A lot of the things we do are because someone else told us to do it THAT way. Think about it. Who up and decided that we should always lead, saddle and mount from the left side of the horse? If I had to guess, it was a right handed person! If you are leading on the left side of the horse, your right arm is your strongest, so that would make it easier to control the horse. Makes sense. Saddling from the right side is a different perspective . Reflect back to when men carried swords. They carried them on the left side to make them easy to draw from the scabbard once mounted. Can you imagine swinging your leg over a horse that had a steel sword strapped to it? Makes sense for back in the day!
So now I wonder why we mount from the left in modern day. It’s the side that the latigo and girth meet up to tighten a western saddle. English saddles, it’s the side the elastic straps are located (on my English saddle) so I assume it’s easier to re-adjust when you put your foot in the stirrup to get one and feel that your saddle is loose. Makes sense!
With all this being said, why do we do it every single time? Horses are used to routine. Their brains prefer this, that and there. I know mine do! However, I have been in many situations where I had to mount or dismount on the right side. I’m so glad that we had already worked on that move because I was in a bad bind! I highly recommend that you practice mounting, saddling and leading your horse from both sides. One day you will be in a situation that you have no other choice. We do things out of habit and perhaps there was a real strong reason for it, but I don’t often carry my sword anymore!