If horses were theme park attractions, the safety bar would lower automatically. I’m just saying.
But when it comes to figuring out your own safety bar – everyone’s talking about bridging reins!
I have been fortunate enough to get to bridge my reins every day this week, and let me just tell you that architecturally speaking, my reins are sound structures. They loop right over Final Call’s cute little neck, which is especially useful when my chin is practically right between his ears – or would be, if he wasn’t so much taller than I am. . .
Why? Well, my warm-ups have dissolved into something like this…
Well, it all seems to be revolving around the Evil Corner of Death, and while I haven’t quite figured out what is actually lurking in the ECoD (I suspect dementors, but cannot prove that horses see dementors) I did get the opportunity to put my money where my mouth was and ride a bolt exactly the way I admonished all of you to ride one!
Remember this post (“Not Retired Racehorses”) and the lessons learned from jockeys in the starting gate – let them bolt, let them settle, then let them relax back into the trot. Fancy words, right? Well, I got the opportunity to do that today, as our walk past the ECoD turned into a gallop past the neighbor’s garage…
All quieted down eventually, and we had a nice gentle trot… until Heckle and Jeckle put on a Royal Lippizaner Show in the neighboring paddock, and then we were a little more up-beat… we’ll call it ups and downs today, but it was fun. I highly recommend schooling your horses next to Thoroughbred yearlings high on alfalfa and Strategy. It is so choice. You really get a great idea of what your first dressage show will feel like.
Anyway, back to bridged reins. I found this fantastic post at EquineInk on bridged reins. With a link to another equally fantastic post. If you’re at all uncertain what we’re all raving about, this is your place. Very basically, you just place your right rein in your left hand, and vice versa. Give it a shot anytime you feel your confidence (or your hands) wavering, for a nice quick steady-up and a firm base of support should your horse turn into an Apollo launch vehicle unexpectedly.
And then, another post for you to visit, because GoLightly, being completely awesome and my hero, has begun creating cartoons with her very cool clip-art collection that I am totally jealous of. View her artwork, be amazed, be inspired, be a better equestrian. Note with interest the snarky comments aimed in my general direction. Also she finds old-school dressage and jumping pictures that will inspire you and, hopefully, undo any harm you may have inadvertently caused yourself by accidently glancing at the cover of a Practical Horseman at the feed store. Don’t worry, it isn’t irreparable. You don’t have to look down at your horse’s shoulder as you jump a fence. I know it’s pretty and all, but… hey you! Eyes up!