Sunday, May 24, 2009

You win this round, Princess...

So I had a clever idea - I should ride without stirrups a bit, as a compromise between riding bareback and pounding her back with my buttbones, and riding with stirrups and not improving my balance. Clever, yes? I thought so.

Dixie is in heat again, but - I hesitate to say this and jinx it - but she's not losing her mind. She wanted to stop and flirt and pee for every horse in the barn, but she didn't have that crazy edge to her. Perhaps we're really getting somewhere!

I pulled the stirrups off the old saddle - they hang directly on the bars, so they'll come completely off - and stuck the saddle on my princess. She patiently waited at the block while I tried to figure out how to get on without stirrups. If she were shorter, or if she wasn't a living creature, I could've made it just fine, but I hesitate to fling myself at her like she's a rock climbing wall. So I got mad and decided hell with this, I'll just give her a bath.

I scrubbed at her tail for like 10 minutes - got lots of yellow suds, but no huge visible change overall. Her mane cleaned back up nicely! I put gobs of conditioner in her tail and very gently finger-combed it while it was conditioned, just to get it straightened a bit and get the dead hairs free.

She doesn't pose well, unfortunately. Also I only really scrubbed her mane and tail. It's all such a exercise in futility. (Cue ominous foreshadowing music...)

Sulky stare.

Then I realized I'd have to come home and blog about how I could not climb on my damn horse - who stood like a ROCK - without any damn stirrups and I decided we'd go for round two. I let her dry off mostly while she hand-grazed, then we went back in and I put the saddle on her again.

If the block was one step taller, no problem. If I was a graceful nymph who could vault lightly up there, no problem. I tried variations on flinging one leg over (got stuck on the cantle) and the belly-flop scramble (stuck in the belly flop). My amazingly patient mare just stood there, kind of confused about this strange new ritual but remarkably content to let me act like a retarded monkey.

Then I got super frustrated and yanked the saddle off her back and went storming back to the tack room, to grab Sara's saddle and just ride, hell with this no stirrup learn to balance nonsense. When I came back, seconds later... she was on her back.

My wet white horse was on her back in the stanky arena sand.

Rolling. Gleefully. Really grinding it in.

I threw up my hands and put her back in her stall. You win this round, Dixie. Tomorrow is a new day.

Here's the aftermath:


  1. Silly mare! Has she been talking to Gene?

    I used to take a little fold up step stool thing to the barn when I wanted to ride bareback since there was NO way that I was making it without plenty of help. I think that it was two steps, but I actually stood on the back/handle to get up. OSHA would not have approved, but it worked.

    I'm very glad to hear about how well she's standing! She looked solid when we were there, you've done such a great job!

  2. Sorry...but this is not the promised post about riding bareback, is it?

  3. I am laughing my butt off (srsly: my butt, it is gone. can you now do something about my tummy, pleez?) and also sympathizing. I wish my horse came equipped with a rope ladder....dang, it's a long way to the top!

    That's why I taught her, very first thing, to "come stand close to this strange object so I can climb up on your tall self!"

  4. What a frustrating outing! Console yourself with the reality that sand brushes off pretty easily, once it dries.
    I guess I've been lucky with my girls--neither one shows horrendous heat behavior. Maybe a little tail wringing, grousy kind of stuff, but no awful theatrics (knock firmly on barn wood).
    I, too, am waiting for the bareback post...

  5. Also console yourself with the thought that you did entertain us very greatly, and we your friends are sympathetic (unlike your horse, who is pretty well poking his tongue out at you) because we too have been in some daft situations.


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