Posted tagged ‘learning to ride’


January 16, 2013

As Zach and I got out of the car we heard a huge whinny.  “What’s that?” he asked.  One of the other borders coming out of the barn answered laughing, “Guess he’s excited you’re here.”

Jigs? It wasn’t a welcome whinny and Jigs is not normally vocal.  Was that Jigs?

He was in his stall pacing even though he had hay. He screamed again.

“What’s up with Jigs,” I asked eying him for other signs of distress.

“He had an interesting day.”


“He got turned out with a few of the mares.”

Oh-Oh, I thought, remembering a camping incident and some ‘horse foreplay’ at 5 AM that involved me yelling, “Jigs get down,” and waking half the camp ground.

“On purpose?” I asked.

“Thought we could change up the herd but Jigs decided they were his mares wouldn’t let anyone else near them.”

That happened the last time he was in a mixed herd.

By now Jigs was on the cross-ties and, pardon the pun, jigging in place. He screamed again.

“Cut it out Jigs,” I said pulling the cinch tighter. He snorted and swished his tail.

“Zach, want to ride?” I asked looking at him sidewards.

“Ahhh, no,” he said stepping away quickly. “I’ll just watch you tonight.”

Jig whinnied again. No response from the mares.

Jigs in Stall


October 25, 2012

Trust is a noun of confidence, reliability, and strength. Trust is a verb of belief and hope.

Trust does not come easy. Sometimes it is a two lane highway- if you don’t look both ways, you might get run over by a Mac truck.

There is an element of faith in trust.

Trust can be earned.

My sorrel pony trusts me.  He trusted me enough last weekend to do ALL 10 obstacle the first time. He got a blue ribbon for this and two additional blue ribbons by the end of the day.

Trust is a gift.

It is reciprocal. I trust the sorrel too- we are partners.

That, too, is a gift!

Equine Massage

October 12, 2012

The boys have been taking lessons on Jigs. He’s been good sport for the most part, albeit a reluctant one requiring much leg and correct cueing.

I love watching the lessons but I can’t stand by the fence because Jigs tries to drag them over to me as he gives me the “save me” eye.

Jigs detests any tugging on his mouth; the boys learning to trot has been a source of frustration to him. A bit of tail wagging and popping into trot has been the worst of it. Poor long suffering Jigs.

Last night I traded in my riding lesson for a massage for Jigs. I THOUGHT it would be a treat for him.

I FORGOT that Jigs is not a touchy feely kinda guy.

And it was FEEDING time.

“Where’s the hay?  How come the guys are out back eating hay and I’m not?  Where’s my apple?  Don’t touch my ears. Nothing in the pocket? Really?

“Stop pulling on my tail.  You want this foot?  Hey, that tickles. There? Stop it…


“Yeah, right there….”

Jigs yawns.  He yawns again and drops his head. “Ahhhh…

“Almost worth teaching the boys to ride….

I said, ALMOST.”

On re-learning to ride and The Second Coming

June 3, 2012

I’ve been trying hard to relax at the same time as asking Jigs to collect with my seat and light hands. It’s hard. I concentrate on one thing and the others fall apart. My hands are light but my legs get out of position. Or my seat is too far back, my spine arches awkwardly.

A line from Yeats surfaces to my consciousness, “things fall apart; the center cannot hold.”

I wonder what this feels like to Jigs?

I hear him sigh. I try again.

For one moment, I relax. I FEEL him step under. His back comes up and meets my seat. His head flexes at his poll. He is round for one step, two, and three… My leg slips back. We lose it.

We had it for a moment. No pulley reins- just seat and hands.

“Good boy,” I pat his neck energetically.

Deep breath, breathe I remind myself. We can do this.

Jigs sighs again.