Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How did he do it?

I mean really? How did that man stay in the saddle?

He's not leaning forward. He's not hanging on to the reins. He's not even gripping with his legs!

Was it a trick saddle with a high cantle and good roughout seat?

I think the top photo is Trigger Jr, the TWH - Allen's Gold Zephyr. :)


  1. I don't know. Guess I never really thought about it until now. I'm just glad it's not me. I'd be on my head.

  2. I'm still looking at the hooves on the b&w photo, some whoppin' heel there ...

    They probably used epoxy to the seat of his pants *LOL*>

  3. I'm goin' with Duck Tape.

    (Uh... when exactly was Duck Tape invented, anyway?)

  4. I think that the first pic is a different horse. It has a sock on the second one just doesn't have.

    And yeah, I couldn't stop staring at those heels either.

    To answer your question: palominos create a gravitational anomoly around themselves that allow for such feats. Diluting a chestnut does really wacky things, and that is why he always rode a palomino. The more you know.

  5. Sock on the right rear, that should read.

    The magnetic fields that accompany the gravitational anomoly messes with my typing sometime. In the industry, we call it Palomino Brain.

  6. Take a good look at the tails of each horse! They are, not in line with the horse and gravity. That is, each tail is in the correct position for a horse almost on all 4`s ie hanging straight down. However if this horse did these poses, then the tail would be showing almost in line with the backbone of the horse. Savvy? so my guess is, each picture has been doctored. If you also notice the immage of RR and the horse are not entirely correct within the setting? Look real close!

  7. Chey - even if those stills are faked somehow, there's a ton of video of Trigger rearing. It was their signature trick.

    I like Sara's explanation best. And she would know about palominos!

    I spent a while this morning doing a google video search for Roy & Trigger videos, and I think he just magically perched up there with abs of steel. Also, if you haven't really watched Roy Rogers - man, those are some incredibly well-trained high-school horses who are really happy in their work. We should all hope our horses are that amazing one day. (I'm with MiKael - minus the rearing for me, please.)

  8. Good question. Never thought about it as a kid when I used to watch them every week. Roy and Trigger is the one reason I always wanted a palomino. Love that horse.

    Come to think of it the Lone Ranger did the same thing with Silver. That's the other reason I always wanted a grey/white horse. And Tonto did have Scout the pinto. Got one of them too. Guess things never really change from when you're and impressionable kid.

  9. I can't get over how empty the hills look in LA in the backdrop.
    I'm guessing good balance, high cantle, roughout, and I see he's holding the horn. Maybe beeswax on the butt? It's what riders used to used as long as it wasn't hot out. :)

    for Jenj: everything you could concievably want to know about duct tape is here http://www.octanecreative.com/ducttape/DT101/index.html

  10. Amazing shots- I've always wondered myself. I try to avoid rearing horses myself but maybe he used velcro? :-)

  11. Duct tape: 1942, marketed originally by Johnson & Johnson to the military--they used it to seal ammo boxes to keep moisture out. It was green, and called "duck" tape because it was waterproof. Military personnel used it to keep all kinds of equipment together, including airplanes, guns and jeeps. After the war, the color changed to silver and was called "duct" tape. http://bit.ly/m038y

    Heels: yes, they are big.

    Roy: did you ever watch him mount ? He would run up next to Trigger, lift his left foot to the level of the stirrup, levitate 3 feet off the ground, hover a moment, and then sit down softly. I suspect he isn't IN the saddle at all--he is just hovering quite close to it, so he appears to be in the saddle.

  12. cool photos! i've got a few who can stand straight up (and jump straight up from there!) but i always have to lean forward to stick with them in my english saddle. it never occurs to me at the time to grab mane or anything sensible like that :-/

    my guess would be he's wedging himself between stirrups and cantle and holding on with his non-waving hand - having a horn or a neck strap or even a good chunk of mane to hang onto is all you really need... unless you're riding bareback - they you're outta luck!

  13. A horse who is rearing in properly trained balance (not one that rears like a crazy animal attempting to dismount his rider), is easier to ride because it's BALANCED and correct.

    Go here... http://www.horsemanpro.com/articles/gained_gaits.htm

    The levade and courbette are high school movements that are performed in a stirrup-less, cantle-less, horn-less bareback "saddle" at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. I have a feeling the Triggers were trained using the same methods.

    I have ridden the levade several times on a high-school dressage master and it does not feel like an un-asked for rear. You engage your abs, tighten your thighs and remain in balance with the horse's center of gravity. It is hard, yes, but very much different than a rear.

  14. AND he's smiling - doesn't even look like he's clenching his teeth!
    although, maybe it's a blow-up doll.
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  15. "Properly trained balance"- those are the operative words! :-) Unfortunately, my experiences have been of an involuntary, unplanned nature.

    I wouldn't mind trying it on a planned basis. Definitely got to use those legs and abs. :-)


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