I’ve been riding Skigh more and more, with more and more calm moments than ever. I’m getting pretty good at riding through her incipient explosions and spooks.(artist rendering)
Anyone who knows me or has ridden with me knows that I do my best never to pull on my horse’s face with both hands. So, I must make this confession:
On Thursday, I was riding Skigh in a big outdoor arena, and one of her pasture mates came by with a rider on board. They were walking along the lane next to the arena, sedately and slowly. We trotted past, and suddenly Skigh whirled to look at the other horse. I was riding on a completely loose rein, and I committed the cardinal sin: I pulled with both hands. Skigh’s front end went straight up, I quickly dropped one rein and began bending her, but I was a moment too late . . . and off I went towards the inside of the circle. No harm, no foul, just a shiner on my right cheek. (Yes, that one.)
In the three years we’ve been together, I’ve gone off three times. The first two were full on buck-offs and I never had a chance of riding through them. So, progress!