Thursday, January 5, 2017

Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
                                                 ―Eleanor Roosevelt

I did my one thing for the day that scared me.

I rode Leah bareback through the snow.

I started out with a vague idea that I might do it.  Might. But I didn't think I actually would.

I took your suggestions about some of the easy groundwork--side passing exercises and such, and it was going so well, I figured--I should get the bridle and jump on!

I've never ridden Leah bareback, but I figured this would be the time to do it while there's 2 feet of pillowing snow on the ground to catch me if I fall.

I maneuvered her over to my mounting block upside down trough, and jumped on.

Leah's head went up like, Um, what are you doing?? But I petted her, massaged her neck, and then asked her to move out.

1st lap around.  Whew, we made it!  I should get off and celebrate--don't push my luck.  Or, I could go around again.

2nd lap around. I should end here.  No one will ever know.  End on a positive note, right?  Isn't that what they say.  But, you know, you should go around both directions.....

3rd lap around.  Uh oh, she's trotting.  That kinda hurts.  Should I get off now?  Okay, I'll circle her and see where this goes.  She seems calm enough, I guess.

4th lap around. She walked the whole way, yay!  Now, it's time to get off and end on a good note.

I took off her bridle, put her back, and then Beautiful Girl came to inquire, Why not me, mom?

I'm a good girl.

I'm cute and I have a GREAT sense of humor.

One kiss before you  leave, okay?

It has been COLD here--in the negatives at night and a high of 12 degrees F today.

Riding bareback keeps me warm, but I also rely on these articles of clothing.

1.   Warm riding boots---Equestrian style from Hunter.  These are insulated, have a heel kick, reflectors, adjustable band, flexible at the joints, riding heels, and the kind of rubber that withstands urine.  They sold out of them on the Hunter website, so I had to search hard for them, eventually finding them at a little shop in London who were willing to ship. I imagine Hunter will bring them back next year.  

I live in this vest.  It's light enough to wear indoors.  It doesn't rip when working with horses.  It cleans up easy.  And, it's thin enough to wear under a coat.  In fact, I have the coat that matches it, but I don't wear it with the horses.  Instead, I wear....

This cheap, down-filled Calvin Klein coat.  I purchased it years ago from a discount store, and it has held up.  It's warm and not too puffy.

For pants, I wear the Kerrits winter riding breeches that can be tucked in or worn outside  your boots.  I've had these for years and  years, but I think they still make them.  They keep me pretty warm.

I also wear a hat and snowboard mittens and, some days, I wear a full face mask, too, or a neck warmer that I can pull up over my face.

I have a clinic on Saturday where the high is predicted to be in the low 20's.  That'll be a cold one! 

I have one more fear to conquer, too.  I haven't ridden Cowboy bareback through the snow out in the open yet.  I really want to accomplish it.  Wish me luck.  


  1. Brrrrrr. Cold. Congrats on the ride. I hope the snow is soft. The sand and D.G. in my arena is like concrete right now since it's wet. I was thinking that I'd be better off falling on the trails in the dirt and rocks. When snow is really deep and your horse sinks way down in it, we don't have as far to fall. I've always used that logic when wanting to ride in snow, but the cold is so discouraging. I guess if you've got the right wardrobe that keeps you warm, it helps. My husband bought me two video games over the holidays as gifts, and they both take place in snow covered mountains. The sounds and images are so realistic that I find myself shivering while I play. As an experiment, I muted the sound, and stopped feeling so cold.

  2. Yay! way to go! I'm envious. Snow is coming here but I don't think I'm ready for bareback yet.

  3. You are on a roll, I mean a ride! Kudos to you for your bravery!! I picked up a similar off brand vest for a steal at Costco & wish I had gotten 1 or 3 more! Light & warm, what's not to love!! Looking forward to reading about your clinic.

  4. Bravo! I actually like trotting bareback, it's a great way to feel the rhythm and get in timing with your horse. Now that you know it doesn't bother Leah, you will probably be more relaxed next time. Have fun with your bareback ride with Cowboy!

  5. I used to love riding Jackson bareback; Auke even. I tried riding Winston once -- he did the "what the heck?" thing you described, walked a few steps and started crowhopping. I ended up in a bunch of gravel -- snow would have been much, much better. I'm not sure that I want to try it with Lucy. She's so dang tall; and so dang sensitive. I think you are very brave.

  6. Good for you! Sounds like Leah was a really good girl and a lot of fun. Beautiful Girl is just so adorable. I'd have to kiss her on her nose and give her a big hug. Good luck with Cowboy I'm sure he'll be a star for you.

    Love all your warm clothes. I really like those boots.

  7. I have no doubt you will accomplish that goal with Cowboy!
    Your winter gear puts mine to shame.... I have had some trouble adjusting to the reality that I will likely live on the 4Shoes for the rest of my life, & not some moderate weather zone (though I occasionally insist on pretending).


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