Archive for March, 2002

PostHeaderIcon Sage and the Saddle

Sage is sequestered at Pine Dell again on her diet.

Tonight I am dedicated to cantering and galloping on Sage.  I will not tense up.  I will allow my hands to be quiet.  I will not pick up the reins and hold them up to my nose.  I will not tense up my shoulders. 

Sage is a well trained horse.  I decided to skip all my normal pre flight check out.  We walked up to the upper 40 acres.  I tightened the girth several times and got on.  The girth was tight.

We went out to the place in the 40 acres where there are acres to run.  I asked Sage to canter and away we went.  I was doing great.  I was rocking in the saddle in time with her body.  I was relaxed.  My hands were quiet and my shoulders relaxed.

All of sudden, Sage was bucking with me!  I pulled on her head, trying to keep it up.  Of course, I was full of tension.  I thought evil thoughts about Sage.   I got her stopped and but she kept bucking every few moments. I pulled up her head again.  We stood stock still.  I leaned forward and Sage bucked.

How is Sage bucking when she is standing stone still?

No, it wasn’t Sage.  The saddle had slipped.  I was riding her neck! When I leaned forward, the back of the saddle tipped up!  HAY!  This is a precarious situation!

I decided that I needed to get off RIGHT AWAY!  I leaned forward, preparing to swing my leg over and the back of the saddle bucked.  I did that again..just to make certain.  Yep.  It bucked again. 

OK, I’ll ride very slowly and quietly to a mounting block.  Walk walk….oh WoW!  The saddle is just balanced on her neck.  There’s no round body to hold it in place.  I have to get off before I fall off!  Maybe I’ll have to fall off to get off!

You know the alarm that starts in your toes and goes clear through your body till it gets to your brain?  Finally, your brain says, “SCREAM!”

I looked around for a miracle.  There was no miracle to help me.  I tried to get my leg over the back of the saddle without bending forward.  Do you know how hard that is?  Finally, I got my leg on the back of the saddle which held it down enough so that I could get off.

I apologized to Sage for treating her so badly.  She never did buck.

We walked back to the outside arena.  I told Tony about the saddle.  He wanted to know “WHAT HAPPENED?”  He was looking for dirt marks and blood.  I told him the saddle tipped forward!  He asked me if I was able to land on two feet.  He seemed impressed when I told him that I did land on two feet.  He quit looking for the blood.

After a good preflight checkout, I rode Sage again.  We did canter again for a short distance.  I imagined that my body motion was forcing the saddle to creep forward.  Concern/fear won and I stopped cantering.  From now on, we are going to canter and jump something on the ground…and tighten the girth at least 3 times before I get on. 

Saddles really should have a back girth! 

Sage got a lot of extra treats!  poor abused horse.

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