Archive for December, 2003

PostHeaderIcon JR’s Journal – No Hands!


It’s been coming. The knowledge that JR can be controlled with my seat and legs alone has been lurking in my brain about the last half of 2003. I knew it; I shoved it back in my head.

Today, JR and I skipped over to Pine Dell with the full intention of me riding bareback. Well, funny how that saddle just put itself right on JR without asking. Ok! Don’t mess with good intentioned saddles, I say. The reason I need to ride without a saddle is to develop a better seat…but I also might fall off. sigh

JR and I did a lot of ground playing in the arena. He decided to stay in the arena while I visited the R Room. When I came out, he was right at the rail waiting for me. Well, he looked nice and inviting. I clamored up on the rail and motioned for him to come over and get me. He did that as pretty as a picture. He just slid right up sideways to me. I leaped on and and felt really fine. He had his halter on. As we were walking away, I decided to go for the whole look. I stopped him and took off the halter. As I was doing that, I dropped my carrot stick. In this instance, I call it my safety stick. If anything goes wrong, I can stop or steer JR with the carrot stick.

I sat and waited for a poor volunteer to walk by to get my carrot stick. I look pretty pitiful and the person helped me as soon as I took my first pitiful breath. “I’m riding JR bridleless for the fist time and dropped my carrot stick. Would you please get it for me?” Whew! I got my carrot stick, chatted and finally we were off on a cloud of light.

I decided to let JR go and do what he wants. I took a push-passenger ride. I sort of push back on the horn while riding. This action places your seat right where it needs to be and very securely. Watch barrel racers when they run those barrels. They push on the horn. I asked him to go in a speed faster than a walk. We cantered and then we fox trotted.

How much different from the day before! Yesteday, I rode JR with the bridle, determined to find the fox trot. I couldn’t find it. I did everything I could to find that fox trot and probably got it for 6 total steps the entire time I rode…indoor and outdoor. We paced, we hard trotted, we did the running walk..we did all the gaits every third step.

Did I mention that I was ready to sell all my fox trotters and move to Iceland and get an Icelandic horse.

Ok, back to today. I sort of relaxed and slouched over the saddle. JR instantly breaks into a fox trot and he kept it going the entire length of the arena.

What is wrong with this picture?

Is my tension, bracing and nagging at him with reins in hand causing JR to stress into anything but the fox trot?

Sigh.. I am not woooorthy!

I was a happy camper on JR. He was perfect. Hmmm. My camera is in the truck. There is sunlight outside the arena. I whined again and my good buddy Jody came to let us out. She got the camera and took our picture. I must say that we look GRAND.

I decided that standing in the gravel drive went well. JR told me he wanted to go down and meet little Isabel, the foal. He was nervous about it, and I almost told him “never mind”. But we did it. Little Isabel was pretty impressed to meet such a horse. Now she thinks that people ride horses without bridles and halters.

We managed to make it back and I decided to run up a grassy slope right beside the pasture. Well, we broke gait a bunch, but we made it to the top of the hill alive. Hmmm, I thought…There’s the 40 acre windy field. Perhaps we could walk to the mounting block besides the large outdoor arena. By golly we did it and I was still mounted.

I decided that I needed exercise, so dismounted and led JR back to the trailer with just the string around his neck. I took the saddle off at the trailer, pointed him into the trailer and as he was getting in, slid the string off his neck. He arrived home NAKED!



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