Sunday, February 20, 2011

Die a Thousand Deaths

Eghr! (the sound you make when you are really frustrated!) Oh how I have missed blogging! There is just too much I want to tell you all!... that is, if there still is a "you all"...



*considers likelihood that anyone has or ever will care about this here blog*


Let's be honest, I've been talking to myself all along.... so why stop now?

So, been riding lots lately! And looooovin' it! And I've been able to ride with, like, other people! *gasp* I know, right? This afternoon I went with a new girl at the barn, Thursday I went with a couple girl friends, and Friday I went with L. (who I board off of)... in other words I've ridden with more people this week alone than I did in the entire year previously. I almost died on the ride on Thursday thanks to a certain someones (you know who you are! *evil glare*) but that is a story for another day. On Friday the ride went well right up until some very helpful people decided, rather than stand to the side of the trail and keep their dogs on a short leash, it would be a great idea to tuck themselves in to the bushes beside the trail, crouch down and be really quiet.... in other words to do their best 'big bad bear ready to spring out of the bushes and eat a horse' impression. Needless to say Princess was keeping one eye on the bushes during our ride the next day and even had a minor heart attack when the man walking on the trail in front of us stooped to tie his shoe lace. She has a memory like an elephant, my mare does! But to be fair I should say that we've now walked through that super scary gap in the fence six times without incident! *knock on wood* I love my pony:)

You know what I dont love? My saddle. My english saddle. Now, that is not to say that I dont enjoy riding English because if anything I've come to enjoy it even more and would love to continue with my English lessons in the future... but... And this is a BIG 'but' (Oh! A pun! big but/big butt) I am having a hell of a time with hauling my big butt up in to that english saddle! (I also have a hell of a time not overusing explanation marks! But we'll talk about that some other time!) The problem is two fold. First, my ass- it's big. My legs, they're short. My dexterity, is lacking. Refer to "Mounting: A failure to launch story" for more on the above. The second problem is that my horse is exceptionally round and lacking for anything that vaguely resembles a wither. Combine the above two issues with a cotton saddle blanket and you'll start to get the idea of where I might have a problem. Well, this afternoon that problem went from inconvenient to all out humiliating. S. (the new girl) and I walked our horses in hand to the trail head. S. mounts effortlessly, of course. Her horse stands still, of course. I walk my pony over to a log. I attempt to position her so that she is standing beside the log. Five minutes pass. I apologize to S. Princess finally stands still. I attempt to mount. Princess steps away from the log. The *insert expletives* saddle ends up around her armpit. I reposition the saddle. Climb back on my log. Fall off of my log. Apologize to the waiting S. who is no doubt wondering how she got sucked in to riding with a loser like me. I curse the log, my saddle, my horse, my life. Try again. Five minutes pass as I try to get Princess positioned to the log correctly. I try to mount again. I overcompensate. Princess starts steps away just as I step up. I fall forward over her wither. By the grace of god I stay on. I wish I could just die a thousand deaths and go home. Instead I swallow what little is left of my pride and carry on with the ride as if nothing happened.

The solution is that I need to loose weight, do yoga to get stronger, get a new saddle pad and girth (or a western) and go out when I have time to practice without an audience to make me nervous. But even so there is a high likelihood I will still struggle to mount Princess in an English saddle.

Or instead I could just go a head and die a thousand deaths. Yup... I think that'd be easier.


  1. We are still here - waiting patiently for you to amuse us with a story... :-D

    I hear ya about the saddle/mounting situation. I once came off on a trail ride and had to have a skinny little teenager give me a leg up. Now that was like dying a thousand deaths. Ugh.

    Have you tried letting your near side stirrup down a couple of holes to help out? It is usually fairly easy to shorten an english stirrup back up when you are in the saddle, if your horse will stand still...

  2. Oh man I know about the rolling the saddle while mounting problem. My horse is so mutton withered it doesn't matter how light the person is if they are mounting him using an english saddle, it rolls. The only solution has been to have someone hold the right iron so the saddle stays put. Strange thing is the western saddle does not roll.
    Sounds like Princess did well on the rides all things considered.

  3. I will just preface this by saying, I am laughing WITH you, not AT you....ROF! L.M.A.O!!! (I'm bad about the over-use of exclamation points too-heehee)

    Awww-you poor thing. It'll get better!

  4. Yupe, I'm still here although I haven't seen you out in the blogsphere much. I wondered what was cooking with you.

    The trails I ride have lots of people walking dogs. Some of them thinking hiding is good to do as well. It's pretty clear they don't understand horses and usually by the looks of their dogs' antics, they don't really get them either.

    I struggle with the same problem AND I ride mostly in a western saddle. I have problems with both english and western. Pulling my dead weight up into the saddle takes more strength than I have.

    Laura is right athat dropping the leather down on the english saddle can help and it is fairly easy to shorten back up. I am so awkward getting on that doing that makes it better but doesn't totally fix my problem. I'd be using a log or a big rock if I could find one. The bigger the better.

  5. Get a breast collar for the saddle - this'll help stabilize the slippery little device. There's no shame in using a mounting block, just keep working on the horse. Most english riders don't mount off the ground because of pinching potential. If with a buddy get them to hold the opposite stirrup - this'll also stabilize your saddle.

    Look at it this way - at least you're out there doing it! And it will get better...

  6. I have to agree with Country Girl. Those have been my experiences as well with an English. However, my western P.O.S. Weaver that came with Ms. Thang (aka Molly) slips when my husband mounts. I'll try the breast collar trick as I'm loathe to replace a saddle on a horse we hardly ride.

    Yoga is good! I just finished my back therapy yoga dvd for the first time (I know I said I was going to start a long time ago over on CLFC but didn't) and amazingly, I do feel better!

    I'm going to be starting Kettleworx in the near future to build some muscle tone in a quick workout format. Why not give it a try yourself?

    Glad you're riding and having a good time!

  7. Don't feel bad. My rotund girls saddle slipped forward down her neck along with me still in it once. Now that was humilating. Ecspecially since my horse even looked at me like "Yeah, I'm with stupid!"

  8. ugh I have the same problem with my western saddle. It's my dream saddle and I love it so I absolutely will NOT be getting rid of it. BUT, it slides when I get on (no matter how tight the girth is!) and by the end of the ride it's a good 2 inches further back then when I put it on. It's a good thing I have a breast collar on so that it holds it up at least that much! I'm clueless as to what to try next, a different pad maybe? No clue :(

  9. Or you could get a HAF pad..they don't slip:-) I first saw them up in Canada so you should have no trouble tracking one down. Also, teach your girl to love the mounting block..or tree:-) Bring her over to it and scratch her and give her treats by it and let her rest there..pretty soon she will go right too it. I promise..this is easier than a 1000 deaths.

  10. I'm new to the blogging site but I certainly feel your pain. I have the same issue getting in the saddle but now I've lost a little bit of weight and have a horse with withers to's a bit easier. Oh, and he is Much shorter than my mare too! That helps me.