About a month ago, my kids and I went out to Susan's barn for a ride. Since there are only two horses, my son opted to be the official photographer. Besides, he claims he doesn't want to ride any other horse but his own. So he perched on the fence and took pictures.
Yes, I stood on a stool to get up onto a 14.3hh horse. I'm saving my back and hers. That's my excuse...
I was trying out a new used saddle that day, and before I could really get going I had to adjust a few things.
Those stirrups felt way too short. When you're barely 5'1" this rarely happens. I think a 7 year old must have been the last to ride this saddle.
That's better. Longer stirrups mean longer legs and that means more leg power!
Finally I'm up. My Girl has already taken Skyla around the ring three times by now!
After walking both directions, we got our horses into a nice jog.
Then it was time for a vigorous posting trot.
My Girl is still learning when to rise out of the saddle and when to sit. When riding on a circle, when the outside leg reaches forward, you rise. At a sitting trot, you'll feel your outside hip rise when the horse's leg goes forward. I knew none of this two years ago. I had heard stuff but didn't get it.
Here's why I like to wear spurs. They're a nice way of making the horse pay attention and listen to my cues.
Imagine if somebody wanted you to move over. Would you rather have that person whack you repeatedly in the shoulder, or poke you once with their thumb? The spur is the thumb poke. Get over. Not whack whack whack.
These spurs are the best. The official name for them is humane spurs. They are very gentle but big enough to get the point across. I don't recommend spurs for beginners. You need a fair amount of control over your own legs before you can trust yourself with them. I really like them though. I think it keeps my horses sharp minded and responsive.
I admit, I like the look of them too! That photo of my foot in the stirrup is one of my new favourites! Turns out, my son is quite the little photographer too!
This was a good ride. We never went faster than a trot but we had fun together. The weather was comfortable, the scenery was beautiful. Good horses, good kids, good day!