PostHeaderIcon I’ll Come for a Visit, Susan and Ride Your Horse

I was like this!! I was just like this. I rode other people’s horses in my young adult formative years. Long long ago when I was in the middle of buying a piece of land in Walsenburg, Colorado, I paid a cowboy money so I could ride his horse. I got his horse and rode out into the dessert. Just me and the horse. I came back and rode around his property, because it was just a little boring out there. The cowboy seemed very very nervous. He said something about his wife being nervous about my riding the horse. I couldn’t understand why. I can ride. I had horses in my age 6 to age 18 youth years. I did not develop fear about riding horses until I tried to ride Sage the third time and she spun me to the ground.
I remember one other time and it might have been during the same time span, I rode someone’s horse in an arena pretending I was going to chase and cow and rope it. We backed up in the shute and burst out, pretending to chase the cow. Oh that was fun.
When I moved to the country, I rode a horse friend’s quarter horse. I cantered around and had a good time on their property. Yee Haw
Turn the clock forward and I started with horses again at the age of 48, When I traveled somewhere, I would find fox trotter people or Parelli students and visit them. I rode their horses. Turns out, the people who profess to being Parelli people really didn’t know the rules. I visited a friend in Phoenix. We rode her fox trotters in Phoenix. I was riding a horse that didn’t understand the signal for stop, whoa, slow down, scream-we-are going to cross and six lane road and you have not yet stopped. The horse was great with kids, cars on the road, bushes, everything, but never learned to stop. People just pulled back on her mouth without teaching her what that meant. I used the snaffle bit on the bridle provided me. The bridle was missing the chin strap. So when my “bend the horse to a stop” reaction occurred, I pulled the bit out of the horse’s mouth. I was riding a horse that did not know how to stop with no bit. Luckily this horse stopped when the other horse stopped. That is the only reason I am alive today. The second day, I used my bridle. I had brought my own bridle with me just in case. At least I could bend the horse’s head around. I rode that horse for three days around Phoenix. About the 3rd day, she had learned to read my body signals and was learning what stop was. On the fourth day, I left Arizona and came home. I no longer ride other people’s horses unless I know them well and they use the same signals to the horse that I use. Consequently, I have not rode many horses other than my own for about 20 years!
I rode Jenny’s highly developed horse once. I was good enough that he did not take off in a gallop. But when I asked him to slow down, my lower legs did not relax. It took me a good long time of trotting around and sometimes cantering around before I could relax my legs enough that he slowed down. My lower legs kept telling him to go forward. I had to fight my legs to relax.

But I digress. I was going to tell you why you can’t ride my horse unless you understand the same things I do.

My horse goes forward when I lightly tense my core muscles. We call this “life up”. I am trying to teach Cisco to go forward when I squeeze my toes. Sadly, I forget to give this signal most of the time.
My horses know to go faster when I lightly press my calves against their side and tense my core muscles.
I do use the portion of my legs from my hips down to my knees for stabalizing my body if it starts to fall out of the saddle to the side.
Here is what we do not do. We do not use our legs from the knee down to hang on. We sit in the saddle on our back “pockets”. That is how we keep balanced up there in the saddle or bareback. You look at those bucking horse/bull riders, they are sitting so far back on their “pockets” for balance that they look like they are laying down on top of the horse/bull.
So here comes someone who has watched TV cowboy shows or rode horses on a dude ranch. The someone tells my horse to go by pressing their lower legs quite firmly against my horse’s sides. My horse thinks that is a signal to GO FAST! My horse takes off. The rider squeezes their legs really really hard against my horse’s sides as a reflex to hold on. The rider’s body tilts forward as a life saving measure. Squeezing the legs even harder against my horse’s sides makes my horse go way faster! As long as those legs are locked against my horse, Cisco will be going fast. I did this once myself when first learning how to ride Velvet bareback. My legs tensed and locked. I knew my legs had locked and Velvet was not going to stop. Sadly, my brain thought it was going to die and it would not let my legs unlock. I had to ride that out and thank goodness Velvet was not a horse that approved of going fast for very long because of some leg pressure!
Thankfully, Lucky Star gets dominate quickly and slides to a stop. No one is going to tell him to canter very far. That isn’t in his nature. So the human is way off balance trying to hunch down into a life saving bend. When Lucky slides to a stop, the human is off balance and will just tumble off…much like what you see when those jumping horses refuse a jump, but the human body is tossed forward.
I’ve seen Velet bolt with a beginning rider and thankfully it ended well.
It has taken me years to figure out what these riders do to cause my horses to bolt.
No, you cannot come out and ride my horses. You must take lessons from me first. I do not have a beginning rider horse.

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