My wild riding days are well behind me, and I now choose to live vicariously through the Olympic eventers. As a young rider, helmets were unheard of at my barn. I look back in wonder at how we all survived virtually unscathed considering the foolish things we did on horseback. Bareback rides on the trails, into the ravine, over the river and through the woods…(now you’ve got that song in your head, don’t you?) Silly games like hanky pick up, rider pick up, and red rover, red rover. Somehow I never sustained any significant injuries except for my pride. One day, I thought I had my girth tight enough during a rousing game of red rover, red rover, but alas, I did not, and after one very quick rollback, slid off the side of my horse with the saddle now suspended under my horse. Needless to say, I never let that happen again. We’d also jump anything we could sans helmet. Ah, the foolishness and stupidity of youth.
These days dressage fits my lifestyle. Keeping four on the floor so to speak suits me just fine. My supervisor and regional director already get white knuckles when I describe my days at the barn. I can only imagine what they’d say if I told them I was taking up eventing while showing them a photo of 20A from today’s Olympic cross country course. [It was the steep drop portion of the Royal Greenwich Borough.] They’d somehow revise my job description to prohibit any and all equine pursuits. Since that would be unthinkable, I’ll stick with the more staid pursuit of dressage. Training a 4-year-old is good enough at this point in my life…but I wouldn’t be above going for a good gallop every now and again. Think I’ll wear a helmet as well.
Ike enjoyed his day off today as well as a handful of peppermints. Plan to ride tomorrow and work on our transitions from free walk to medium and stretch down trot to medium trot without performing “the giraffe.”