When You’re Looking for the Safety Bar

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. . .

Maybe our craigslist ad?

Why? Well, my warm-ups have dissolved into something like this…

Super-cute, right?

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!

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9 Comments

Filed under Final Call, Outside Sites, Stereotypes, Training Diary, Training Theory

9 responses to “When You’re Looking for the Safety Bar

  1. Barb Fulbright

    Thanks, Natalie! BTW, I rarely drink coffee, so I thought you’d be glad to know that it’s when I finish laughing and it’s fizzy diet Coke coming out my nose first thing in the am, is the time I write my comment! That’s a good pic for craigslist!! I also like the “possibly related posts (automatically generated)” section below your column- I’m dropping the bridged reins for the 18-Inch Victorian Grab Bar, in Venetian Bronze!

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Hahaha I will have to step up my humor and really torture your poor sinuses. Diet coke in the morning? YUCK! 😛

      So if I use that as my craigslist ad, I may get a cameo appearance on Bad Ways To Sell Your Horse – hell, maybe even Fugly if I play my cards right! Anything for publicity, dahlings.

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Oh and I can’t figure out why it places those possibly related posts, but since none of of my titles make any sense standing alone, you will continue to see randomness. I know I’m supposed to make my blog friendly to search engines by making titles like “Training Your OTTB to do Dressage After Being a Racehorse Thoroughbred” but my artistic soul simply cannot countenance this outrage.

  2. Yup, pretty sure I’d pass on buying that horse from that particular picture. Giraffe riding isn’t my thing, yo. Does it help to raise your hands any?

    Maybe he’s got a case of spring fever? Either that or there really is a dementor in the ECoD. In which case you should be thanking him profusely for keeping you out of it.

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      You don’t like my hands? They are locked in place for security! LOL. No actually I was pushing him up against my hand and running him into the bit on purpose. This was during the hopping period. My theory: if he’s up against the bit, he isn’t on his forehand and thus won’t be able to put in a good buck. The photographer just caught me being wicked and it was a good illustration of the Escape from Dementors.

      Maybe I need to give him chocolate? Okay, way too many Harry Potter references.

      I once knew a horse VERY similar to this one named Gandalf, actually, if we want to go down the fantasy path. And who named their place Shadowfax Farm? Wasn’t that Jimmy Wofford? No – he was Fox Covert. I don’t remember. Help me out here.

  3. Hey! I thought you rode horses, not giraffes! 😀

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Northern Dancer TB=Giraffe 🙂 I read once about the Horse With a Long Neck, you know, the middle piece in the evolution of giraffes? Yeah. Final Call waves hello.

  4. Chronic whiner present and accounted for. Nice horse, nice ride, ploople on the people who won’t see a nice horse and a nice ride. Life isn’t made up of a bunch of stills, ya know.
    Oh, and Final Call is just being consistent for ya. The Evil Corner is his happy place:)
    It’s fun when they tighten their tails and run, eh?

    Yes, raise your hands please, and un-round your shoulders and quit staying on, would ya! We need shots of falling, sailing through the air, you know, thrills and stuff.

    I see you softening in the next instance/still, and FC saying, oh, okay. Then rinse and repeat..

    To a yippeee yee-haw!
    OH, totally jealous of the boots. Those are dreamy boots you’re wearing…

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      When I do fall off, sail through the air, etc., there will be no one around to appreciate my mid-air grace. No stills, no video, just Natalie in the mud and Final Call laughing at her.

      Those pictures are about twenty minutes apart, allow me to assure you that Final Call would not have produced that if I had merely softened in the initial moments of the work-out 😉

      Boots are half-chaps (Dansko, thanks for asking) and Ariat jod boots… I’ll never wear tall boots again if I can help it!

      Missed ya!

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