Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Oh, hey! Just back from another ride with my girl, Shea. We hit the road again, as we must in this neighborhood. (Unfortunately, I don't have a monster National Forest in my backyard!) And hitting the road reminded me of some basic lessons I've learned over the years:
1. Always ride against traffic. When you ride on the left side of the road, you can see what's coming. In other words, ride with traffic and you cannot see that idiot who's about to scream by your boot.
2. Wave and smile to considerate drivers. Paying it forward, ya know? Consider yourself an ambassador to all things horse.
3. Avoid the "Slow Down" hand gesture favored by highway workers. I've found this gesture pisses people off. Inconsiderate drivers, when 'waved down' usually respond by a). speeding up, b). coming closer, c). sounding their horn, d). all of the above and then some.
My friend uses the horrified look. The "my-horse-is-going-to-flip-and-lives-will-be-lost-because-of-you" expression. That sometimes works. If not, see next pointer.
5. Carry cell phone. Necessary for calling for help OR calling in the license plate number of the guy who just buzzed by your boot.
6. Anticipate hazards, especially if you have a spooky horse. If some guy is mowing his lawn, cross to the other side. Same if there’s a sprinkler or yard sale or whatever.
7. If a dog is harassing you, remember the front of a horse is way more scary to it than the back of a horse. Also, the unseen dog is way more scary to your horse than the seen dog. So, be pro-active!
8. Your suggestion here!
9. Have fun!!
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
I think most of us would like to spend more time with our horse(s). But there's work, kids, bills to pay. Heck, I only see the couch once a week with all the clean laundry piled on it!
So I'm pushing for mini-moments. If I can take 5 or 10 minutes and do something with my horse (and then do something else with my other mare), then I will feel better. And I think she feels better, too.
And what's five minutes? It can mean a lot if you check in with your horse and have him work a little. Five minutes of playing games and challenging him just a bit. Five minutes of bonding. Five minutes of therapy (cheap therapy, lemme tell ya!). Five minutes of getting dirty. Call it what you want.
It ain't much but it might keep horse and rider sane 'til bigger chunks of time come along.
It takes even less time to check over your horse every morning and every night. Did you check out his hooves and run your hand over him? Sounds simple and easily done - but how many of us do it religiously?