Many stories herein are subject to the faulty, and sometimes creative, memory of the blog owner and should not be taken as factual, although the names and events are real! Kind of.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Used to Be a Cowboy; Part 2

As I told you yesterday, I eventually outgrew Trigger, and we tried to move on to bigger and hopefully better things. That's me and Andi up there. Notice our giant gold car that we took camping when I told you about my going to the bathroom dream that wasn't a dream
And as I wrote yesterday, kid-sized horses aren't too great for kids and my dad eventually bought this Appaloosa mare, Terri.

Nice bow in the hair, huh. Every horse trainer should wear a bow. And the glasses....Oh my. I must have been about 9th grade cause I got contacs in 10th. This is a sad sight...But back to the horse.
When we bought Terri, she was greenbroke--she had been ridden enought to not buck (probably, hopefully!) but had no training as far as reining (you know--steering the horse) went. So my assignment was to ride her around and around the corrals in different patterns and teach her what different reining pressure meant. What I'm saying is, if I pulled the reins toward the right, she would feel the right rein pull away from her mouth and feel the left rein 'pushing' or laying on her neck. And eventually, she would figure out that she was supposed to turn righ. You start out by having one rein in each hand, so you can both pull and 'push' at the same time.
And you should wear gloves to prevent rope/rein burn in case the horse decides to pull a fast one on you, yanking the reins through your fingers. And for pity's sake, never ever wrap your fingers in the reins--you could lose one! And cut off fingers are no joke, as Les and I can testify, but that's a story for another day!
I used a single rein on Terri and no bit. The single rein goes from one side of the bridle's mouthpiece to the other, making a long loop. This way, if the horse jerks her head up to rear and the top of her head hits the rider between the eyes and she lets go of the reins, they aren't dragging in the dirt. Not that it's ever happened to me.....
Of if the horse puts her head down (as if they are going to buck--bad news), you can jerk her head up to prevent it. Maybe. And once again, you don't run the risk of losing the reins.
Enough about horse trainin'. I loved that horse! I rode her every chance I could get and we were like best friends! I never used a bit in her mouth and she was very responsive and a great cowhorse! (as if I'm an expert) Or at least I never got dumped in the dirt or knocked off under a limb! I think that I did lose my seat a time or to and landed in a cowpile when Terri or Babydoll decided to head some cattle and I wasn't paying attention. But that's a good cowhorse and a poor rider. I was probably daydreaming about a book I was reading or something!
Last of all, we've got Appie:

This is Sarah and I in about 1990. PLEASE don't look at the pitiful western fashion I'm presenting. Pink socks with black keds....how sad is that.....I looked way better up there at the bedwetting age with my little sister than I do down here with my daughter.....

I would still love to own a horse. But the reality is, I really, really like not having chores to do every morning and every evening. And a good riding horse is a horse that you ride. I'm afraid if I had one, it would end up like the treadmill. I had every intention of walking on the thing daily but eventually it became a taunting laundry holder. Not that I can use a horse to hold my laundry of course. And I can't keep it in a corner of the bedroom.....

But man, I miss a horse. And I miss boots. And I miss the smell of sweaty horse sweat and saddle leather and even maybe the smell of horse....you know.


FLO said...

You sure brought back some memories. Thank you Dawn. I too love the smell of a horse and leather. There's a racetrack here in Ranson and so many times I've been tempted to 'stop and smell the horses' lol.

Shelley said...

Your memories of your cowgirl days bring back memories for me as well. My horse Flicka lived at Grandma's. I only got to ride it in the summers. Kenny was better with her than I was. I seemed to get bucked off alot (into stickers) and get taken for a wild ride when she got barn sour. Wow, what memories.

One Last Thought.......

Pleasant words are a honeycomb;
sweet to the soul and healing to the body.
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