Blogger Birthday Ride!

On Saturday I got together with M of Boots and Saddles  at Lake Oroville for her birthday ride. N and Willow also joined us and despite seeing a parking lot full of horse trailers at one point we didn’t see any other horses out on the trail! I wanted M’s eye on the Frank Baines fit for Scrappy and may have gotten a bit OCD about bringing saddle pads for the occasion: 

M agreed the FB seemed like a good fit but once again I had matching dry spots behind his withers after the ride. He rode really well in it and Mel said it looked level while I was riding. His back wasn’t sensitive/sore in the least. But..the dry spots.

M was kind enough to “unredneckify me” as Funder would say, on the whole posting diagonals thing. Yeah I *knew* what they were, more or less, and the notion that you should post on both for even muscling and happy sound horsey longevity made sense. Did I ever actually pay attention to what diagonal I was on, ever? Nope. So when it came to trying to figure it out, it helped to have someone to not only explain everything, but demonstrate in front of me as well.

It took me a while to figure out what diagonal I was on. Turns out I favor the right. All the time. And so does Scrappy. Once I figured that out, and did the 2 beat stand to switch diagonals, BOOM, all of a sudden I was posting this crazy Booty Shakin odd gait! The difference between posting the right and left diagonal was HUGE. It was hard to stay posting on that left diagonal at first. Scrappy did all he could to throw me back to the right, and my body wanted me to also.

It was fun to practice the diagonals and picking canter leads on the trail instead of in an arena. It took me 3/4 of the ride to get a left lead canter out of Scrappy, posting from the left diagonal. He felt smooth as a dream from right to right but Ghetto Booty-to-right-lead on the left diagonal. Until I got just the right combination of waking him up with my left leg, tilting his nose ever so slightly left, and asking for the canter BAM, then suddenly I found a new button and got a flawless left lead canter.
M, or “Teach” as I like to call her now 😉
N and Willow on the left, M and Farley, and Scrappy face! 

It was great fun riding out with the ladies and Scrappy got to be the only Dude there! Boy, it was exhausting keeping up that male bravado the whole time 😉

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4 thoughts on “Blogger Birthday Ride!

  1. I feel you on the favoring diagonals and leads things… both the mare and I want to list to the right all the time and I post on the right leg and ride the right lead most of the time. Lucky for me, once I warm up and loosen all my muscles out I end up posting on both without noticing which is which, and O is happy to do flying changes back and forth between the leads.. but that first 5 miles of trying to shake it all out is just ughhh.

  2. The one thing I've found that really helps when both you and the horse have a preference, is to switch to the “hard/wrong” diagonal every time you think about it, because invariably you'll switch back when you're not. Or to post the hard one when you're both fresh, so then you can switch back to easy-ole-faithful leg when you're not. 😉

  3. Gah, Q and I are righties, too. And it is SO weird to be on the left. She spooks more when I'm posting the left one. Then after the spook she's got me back on the right one. I swear she does it on purpose. When we're both tired though we do better at switching.

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