I have little red scratchies all over my arms, ugh. Didn't think about that before I started tossing hay bales around.
Today is my birthday! I am officially 18 years old.
Every time I ride on my birthday, I wonder if I'm going to get bucked off.
Let me tell you the story:
It started a couple years ago, on I think my 15th birthday. Some friends gave me a lovely little mechanical hackamore to try on Bailey! What fun!
I put it on him, figuring he'll be fine, since I regularly ride him bareback in a halter. So I tack him up, hop in the saddle, and start walking around on a long rein. I pick up the trot. Buck. Buck, buck. Trot, head toss. Buck buck buck. As usual, I boot him through it, fully aware even at this point in my riding career that the best answer to a buck is to go forward.
Buck, buck, buck. BUCK. Buck buck.
At this point, the bucks are getting nasty. Let me tell you something -- Bailey was a very honest horse. Even his bucks were honest. He was never trying to get me off; he only wanted to let me know he was displeased. They were always smooth and relatively low.
Not these ones.
When I got thrown far enough forward by a big one that I was actually close to falling off, I decided to hop off. I put the longe line on so I could see what was up (I do have the occasional moment of foresight). So I start longing him on the circle.
Canter Buck. BUCK BUCK BUCK, buck buck, canter, head toss, BUCK BUCK.
"Man," I said, "I'm REALLY glad I'm not riding those ones."
Buck buck. Buck.
Then I got smart and took the hackamore off.
No more bucking.
So, intelligently enough, I decided to not ride him in that mechanical hackamore anymore. It only took, oh, about a year before I looked at it molding quietly in the tack room and said, "Hmm. The shanks are about seven inches long, and it has a curb chain instead of a curb strap. MAYBE my darling OTTB, never ridden in anything but a french-link snaffle, objected to the leverage and curb chain."
Gee, ya think?
Despite my yearly trepidation about being bucked off, I'm still riding tonight. Since McKinna has only bucked (mildly) twice in the whole time I've ridden her, and both times were when she was misbehaving and I kicked her, I think I'm safe.
This is more for my reference than anything, but here's upcoming posts:
My Ride Last Night
The Talk at Leadership Camp
The Horse's Perspective
Cake Walk at OHSET
Long Reining, Trial 3
College (and Horses)
On Falling Short
2 hours ago