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April 2011
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First Ride!

Lindy’s first ride (<– link to the video)

Here it is in all it’s glory!  The video of my first ride on Lindy…

Today I had my support crew (although as you’ll hear in the video, The Kid wasn’t super happy about being there).  The weather was clear and calm.  The ranch was deserted.  Lindy was as mellow as could be when I roundpenned her (well, she did throw in one double-barreled kick, but it was an aberration caused by me pushing her a bit, just to make sure there were no real bucks hiding in there).  I felt a bit nervous as I got her all ready at the mounting block (there’s a video of that too, but it’s view of my backside isn’t the most flattering), but we’ve been working up to this for so long I felt pretty confident that it was going to go well.  Unfortunately the actual moment I landed on Lindy’s back isn’t captured on film, but once I was up there and Lindy’s only response was to flick her ears back at me, I felt like I could relax a tiny bit more.  I was tempted to just hop right off (“always end on a good note” ran through my mind) and call it a day.  But I’m glad I decided not to.  When I asked Lindy to go, she seemed a little confused.  It didn’t help that I was a little unsure about how much leg pressure I could use to get her to go forward without upsetting her, so the first bit of “walking” around the roundpen was more like wiggling around on a noodle.  Finally I got brave enough to give her a little stronger kick, and voila!  Lindy gave me a nice, relaxed walk.

Of course, I can’t take all the credit for how calm she was.  I had help in getting her ready for this big moment:  The girls in the Grassroots Green class helped me lay a nice foundation of groundwork.  Secondly, Lindy had been ridden by her previous owner a couple times in December of 2009, after she’d healed from her injury at the racetrack.  And of course she’d been ridden at the track.  I don’t know exactly how many times Lindy’s had a rider on her back.  But I do know that she’s been ridden very little in the last two years.  I do know she’s the greenest horse I’ve sat on.  So although I can’t take credit for starting her, I feel proud of having gotten to re-start her.

Here’s to hoping her new career as a riding horse goes as smoothly as this first ride seems to indicate.  Of course, she could still buck me off the next time I ride her.  But I’m trying not to think like that.  I’m also trying not to worry about how noodle-y her trot is going to be when I finally get brave enough to ask for it!

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