Going Western

Sunday, June 28, 2020

I’m staring at YouTube videos, to learn how to cinch a Western saddle. You’re familiar with Western saddles, they’re large, have a horn, and a hanging latigo (strap that buckles to a girth). I’ve not ridden Western for years, I prefer lightweight English saddles. Western saddles typically are heavy, somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty pounds, lots to heft up and onto a horse.

My interest in being reacquainted with heavy saddles is driven by Sunni, the horse I often “pony” (leading her alongside or slightly behind my riding horse). Sunni dips her head to grab grass and makes it seem she could pull me out of my English saddle. The horn of a Western saddle could help me hold her rope more effectively.

My long unused Western saddle built on a fiberglass tree is slightly lighter than if it had a wooden tree. I managed to toss it onto Rosie who immediately knew it was “the wrong saddle”. “Too bad, Rosie, you’re returning to your roots,” I muttered. Cinching took awhile but my effort resulted in a hold decent enough to keep the saddle in place for mounting.

After years of not sitting Western, now I seemed way too high on Rosie. The seat felt weird, uncomfortable, and hard. I missed my English saddle (and good to know for I’ll love it more in the future). Long story short, a saddle horn did help to control Sunni, not enough to keep her from figuring out anyway how to grab grass, but enough to keep me feeling secure in the saddle.

All was well until Rosie’s onset of bad behavior when she spotted a helium balloon waving about ten feet above a log that captured its string. Getting Rosie past that awful object while I held Sunni’s rope was a feat needing a more competent rider. Although Rosie may get prancie, threatening to bolt, she’s well trained and doesn’t, but as she intends is a little scary. My choices were to slip to the ground and lead Rosie, or just ride it out. Somehow I rode through her resistance, one hand working Rosie’s reins and the other hanging onto Sunni’s lead rope.

I rescued and brought home that balloon, tied it to a gate and watched Rosie run from it. “Get used to this, Rosie, it’ll become your best friend!” The afternoon was very windy and shortly afterward a great object casting a huge shadow flew high overhead and sailing away into the eastern sky. There went Rosie’s balloon!

Dear Friends: Horses are enormous work, but a joyous experience of time-warp and freedom. Diana

One thought on “Going Western

  1. I think I agree with Rosie. Not to be superstitious, but that balloon looked a bit like those evil clowns many people are afraid of. I am sure she is pleased she convinced it to leave.

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