Back In A Saddle Again!

I’d like to put a disclaimer before these photos – as y’all know, I’m going to start wearing a helmet. It’s been weighing on my mind for awhile, even before the accident. I bought a helmet from a friend of mine who got one brand new but it was too big for her grand child, it’s never been used but it did sit in a dusty barn for awhile so I cleaned it out and it was still wet with soap and etc when I went to the barn to ride. I’ve realized the importance of helmets, and with that being said, please don’t critique the fact that I’m not wearing it in these. I should be. But honestly, I was getting to the point of my nerves growing worse and worse to be in a saddle and actually ride and go faster than a trot, and I felt like if I didn’t just do it, I would have a really hard time getting back on.

So, I tacked up today.

I checked Red’s back twice, then made mom check it. It’s looking absolutely great and I don’t think it’s going to scar which I’m super happy about, the top is still scabbed over and there’s not much hair there but the bottom looks perfect. I pressed on it and checked it for any soreness and he had no sensitivity, so I cinched up slowly and got on carefully to test the waters and it was all fine. I’d like to point out some MAJOR improvements that we’ve had in the last few weeks…

  • He stands for me to mount. Saddle or no saddle, mounting block or no mounting block, with no one around or with mom standing right there. No matter what, he stands now. This is a huge. stinking. deal. Red, in the years that we’ve known him, even before I got him, never liked to stand.
  • He’s getting better at flexing. Poor guy was so stiff when I started doing these exercises, but now his left side is near perfect and his right side is getting better. He LOVES to flex and pop those muscles.
  • I don’t have to nag him for a nice trot. No more bumping the reins nonstop or keeping a tight hold, his old trot is gone (praise the Lord) and I don’t have to deal with that roughness anymore. Praises.

I mounted up, sat there for a minute to make sure he wouldn’t act ouchy with me being up there, and gave him a lot of praise for standing. He thrives on attention so if you praise him for being good he’s going to keep on being good. Mom didn’t expect him to stand with the saddle because he knows saddle=work while bareback is typically just us poking around, but he did, and I know it impressed her quite a bit.

I noticed a few things wrong with him and myself…I have a habit of leaning too far backwards, he won’t use his neck properly and holds his head very…well, lazily, lol. My reins are a bit too tight in some of these so I need to loosen up a bit. He was very “up” today, the minute we started walking he had a big pep in his step and had his ears perked and was just happy to be back to normal work. He was begging to go faster than a walk. We walked across that front pasture a few times, back and forth, up and down that road, and he was good, so I let him walk back down and asked for a trot. He extended himself pretty nicely considering he hasn’t trotted under saddle since mid July, haha. And it felt great, very smooth. I still need to work on rounding that back.

PS: My hack noseband seems really low in these photos and I’m seriously confused by it, because every time I’d check it, it was in the perfect position….so ignore that.

Starting to ask for a bit of extension.
His neck looks decent in this.

Nothing beyond special but a good little trot. πŸ™‚ Extremely proud of my heels today.

We did some trot work, worked on some leg pressure and stopping, not a long ride because the horse flies were out and about to drive us both crazy, but it was nice and I felt like we got some good work in. We rode for about 30 minutes and he worked up a little bit of a sweat under the pad. I let him jog (slow as I could get him to jog, haha) about halfway to the barn and then dismounted and loosened my cinch and let him join up and walk to the barn with me.

This was his expression for the majority of the ride.

We did have one moment of him trying to be a brat. Before I let him trot, in the very start of the ride, we rode down, I walked him one way then turned and he was like, “MUST LOPE!!!!!” and tried hopping around. I gave him a nudge with my heel and got him turned, said no and he went right back to walking patiently. Dork.

Riding again tomorrow sometime and getting special photos…our 3 year anniversary is coming up. πŸ˜‰

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5 thoughts on “Back In A Saddle Again!”

  1. I think the reason it looks low in those pictures is because you have it engaged. If you let your reins out, or let off the pressure some it would pop back up where it belongs.

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    1. Probably! πŸ™‚ in the trotting photos (screenshots from a short video) he was being bratty and I had my reins tighter than normal. That’s probably it! Right now my worst habit is keeping my reins too tight. I need to let go some!

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      1. Actually after looking at the pictures of you standing, I think you could maybe go up a hole, possibly even two. The hack should be above the openings in their skull for their nostrils (which is a few inches above the openings we can see).

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      2. I’ll try that this evening when I ride! πŸ™‚ thanks! I’m still not used to this hack at all so I’m sure it could use some adjusting still πŸ™‚

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