Thursday, November 17, 2011
The woman in Craig Cameron’s clinic was pulling on the reins too much. Cameron smiled and yelled, ‘Let go! Where’s he gonna go? You’re in an arena!’
His thought, I presume, was that we’re safer in an arena if the horse ends up doing something unsafe like bucking or bolting.
But a recent ride with my pony, Pep, taught me that Wide Open Spaces can be exhilarating AND safe, too.
Pep is another one with a strong distaste for rein contact. She’s tossed me a few times when I wanted her to stop and did so with too much rein. But with a friend’s help, I’ve learned to let her go. If she wants to move, I let her. But I get to direct where she’s going.
At the beach for the first time, she had no interest in standing still or even walking. So I directed her in big, quick circles. Then we did small, quick circles. There were no fences to run into. No trees to duck. No rocks or holes to dodge.
Within 10 minutes, she was walking and stopping with hardly any rein contact. She felt better. I felt better.
On this late autumn day in deer season, we soaked up beach time until sunset. It was calm, mild, and uncrowded and we felt like the outing was a real treat.
I like talking with fellow beach riders and I’ve found one thing mentioned over and over – We’re all seem so darn appreciative. Coming here is more than a safe place to ride during hunting season. It’s more than an alternative to arenas or the usual muddy trails.
Beach rides liberate you, reinvigorate you, and send you home with salt air in your lungs. The sensations are positive, physical, and spiritual.
I was inspired by Vivian, Pat, and Linda. (photo below) The mother and daughters have ridden for decades but this very first trip was the first one together to the beach.
Glad to see you out here, gals!