Wednesday, July 6, 2016

What Do Wednesday: Other Rides

So while B was "down for the count" I was so incredibly bored and envious of those riding. You truly do not know what ya got until its gone...even if what ya got is an unpredictable hot red mess.

At one point I jumped Yankee in the almost 5 weeks B was completely, 100% lame.

Throwback to my last XC on Yanks
It was like riding a brand new horse and I flopped all over the place like a giant sack of potatoes, ran him in to a few jumps and couldn't even turn him left... I quickly handed him to V to jump...HAHA whomp whomp. Was this my horse? Did I ever ride him? Who am I? Is this real life?

Guess thats the result when you've exclusively ridden a giant, green, massive strided red dragon for the better part of two years then hop on a small, tiny strided well-trained BAMF. You flop. Everywhere. Like you have no idea how to ride at all, which is insane because Yanks should be easier to ride with 11 years of ownership and training put in to him myself, but no.

Summer 2010
Then it got me thinking how many horses I have NOT ridden in my lifetime. When it boils down to it, its about 4. Sure, I owned a few QH here and there,  a project horse for 7 months, trained greenies for a semester in college and have ridden a few friends horses every now and then...but the majority has been Dolly, Spirit, Yankee and Bacardi.

Circa winter 2011
For 18 years, I've ridden four horses exclusively. Thats not that many and that does not lead to a wide range of riding skills or adjustability. Sure, I can stick a buck, get around  dressage test, hop on babies, jump a 2'6 course on anything and teach anyone how to ride my beasts...but ask me to do a training level test or jump a 3'3+ course on a horse that's not mine? Yeah, ok.

Winter 2013
Jackie, Yank's last leaser, is the catch-ride extraordinaire and I am truly envious of her ability to hop on literally everything and survive spectacularly.

One time, Amy asked me to take her horse to a USEA event having never ridden him and I almost said no due to the fact that I know this about myself and was legit afraid of her hating me forever when I couldn't steer him around XC to save my life.

Turns out, I did OK, but Steady is a machine and extra tolerant and we survived.

After a double clear XC
I like to consider myself a good rider; teachable, solid, and experienced. I feel like I ride my own horses well, and I am comfortable there. If I had the choice, I would ride more horses, but not many people want or need their ponies ridden, and lets be real...when would I have the time? A few of my barn friends ride each others horses all the time, but B is a different beast. Dragon in fact, and no one volunteers to ride that madness, ever.

Friends riding other friends horses
So I suppose you could call me a monogamous  equestrian.

This monogamy has led me to be an excellent rider on the horses I am used to...and a horrible one on those I am not. One would think those skills would transfer, but apparently they don't.

Spring 2014
This theory was solidified when I was given the chance to hop on a friends horse a few weeks ago. He's a beast and gorgeous and tolerant and lovely and an OTTB so of course I was like fuck yeah, gimme gimme gimme.

So I clambered up on him, adjusted my stirrups, got used to staring down another neck then promptly almost fell off over a 3ft oxer. Like, landed on his neck, grappled with his mane, lost my stirrups almost fell off.

So that didn't go well and I handed him back mortified and embarrassed that I couldn't ride the easiest horse to ride in our barn. Like what the fuck.

So, moral of the story is, I need to ride more horses and get used to horses that aren't mine. In some universe, in another plane, I know this is possible, so now I just need a time turner or a time-space continuum to achieve this new goal.

What I want to know is if my readers are monogamous or not. Do you get to ride a lot of horses? Do you want to? Why or why not? Tell me dear readers, WHAT DO? 


  1. I've never owned and Isabel is my first lease (for 3yrs now) so yea. I've basically only ever switched around a lot and definitely miss it. Working towards goals with a single horse is rewarding, but nothing quite keeps me as honest as a rider like trying out different horses.

  2. I am currently needing to ride other horses, I seem to be doing ok, the learning curve is steep but I'm paddling along.

  3. Roger is my primary ride these days, but my trainer/BO will also have me hop on some of the schoolies for an occasional hack or to jump them around. I love Roger with all my heart and soul and would never give him up ever, but there is definitely something to be said for hacking a schoolmaster around on the buckle. I guess that's my way of saying that I do occasionally ride other horses besides Roger, but it's not a regular thing.

  4. I'm lucky enough to be able to ride a lot of different horses and I think it's important to help stop bad habits forming. And it's hella fun finding out what makes them tick

  5. In my life?

    Probably over 100 horses.

    Between the lesson barns with large herds of school ponies that I grew up at, then going to college and riding IHSA and riding most of the herd of 50 horses over two years. Then I also rode all my friends horses on a regular basis when they didn't have time.

    I used to think I could get on almost anything in any tack and ride it, and that was probably true when I graduated from college, but 3 years of not doing a whole lot of riding lately and I think perhaps I would need to get my riding legs back before making such a claim.

    1. I think my lifetime count is near that, but on a regular basis? 4. LOL

    2. Ah, see without a personal horse most of my life switching horses was my regular basis.

  6. I love riding multiple horses. At first it was definitely a challenge, but I've gotten to a point where I can relate a new horse to a horse I've already ridden and it makes life much easier

  7. I've had phases in my life where I rode lots of horses and phases where I only ride mine. I am definitely a better rider objectively when I'm on more horses, but I really love being able to completely focus on the ins and outs of one like I'm doing right now.

    It's still good to hop on other horses when I have time, but I'm VERY picky about what I sit on anymore. It's not worth the risk to me to get on a bunch of orangutans.

  8. I'm not very good at adjusting to different types of horses, but in the last 4 years or so, I've had the opportunity to ride a lot more horses and that has helped so much.

  9. I'm monogamous too! I can't ride worth crap on other people's horses lol. There are a few other horses I've ridden consistently enough to be comfortable with, but it's only trail riding. I'd probably die if I tried to jump one hehe.