Monday 31 July 2017

A Reason Not to Ride Alone

I didn't have a lot of horse time last week. Monday night I decided sleep was more important, Tuesday night I had a couple of lessons to teach, Wednesday I made it out to the barn, but it was hot and that was the day the arena footing was being worked on. Thursday I usually work during the afternoon and evening so seldom head out to the barn unless I need to patch a horse up. And of course, that pesky job that pays the bills always impinges on pony time.

But I finally made it out on Friday with plans to ride. I was tired, but determined that I would get on Phantom, even if it was for a short walk.

The facility I recently moved my horses to is very quiet. Too quiet. Eerily quiet at times. There are maybe 25 boarders, but in the two weeks that I have been there I am usually out by myself. Kids are out of school at the moment so they are out during the day, and during the week I am generally out during the evenings. It's great having the arena to myself, and no complaints about the barn being quiet. But what I do miss is the safety aspect of not having anyone around. About a year and a half ago I was having issues while mounting Phantom, which I determined were due to saddle fit. Getting flung to the ground before you even had your leg over the horse's back makes one a little wary about putting a foot into the stirrup to mount. This has been resolved and she is now rock solid about mounting. But even now, every time I lift my foot off the mounting block I still have a moment that I think something might happen.

Because of this history, I am not very keen to ride when there is no one around. And I am definitely not ready to ride Cisco without someone present who can call 911.

This Friday, I did decide to hop on Phantom. And spoiler alert - nothing happened. By nothing, I mean she didn't trip or stumble, and there was a horse between me and the ground until there wasn't supposed to be. However, I did end my ride after about 25 minutes for a reason that could have been averted if there was someone around - I had to pee. Really badly.

Now, if someone were out there with me, I would have had them hold Phantom while I dashed into the bathroom and then gotten back on. Since that wasn't an option, I would have had to take her back to the barn, put on a halter, tied her up, done my business, then headed back over to the arena. Way too much effort.

So I had a really quick ride, in which I rode very badly, and prayed that she didn't take a sudden step that I didn't expect. And I was very happy that I was wearing my full seat breeches.
The best part of Friday night was the sunset.

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