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[RC] husbands first ride on his new horse-story - michelle

I'm new to endurance but not to riding. I have done 3 LD's with an arab
mare that I trained myself (not bragging though) in 2005. 2006 I was
pregnant with my third child. And now this year I'm still taking care of
the baby and am just conditioning my mare so that I can do some more LD's
and maybe a 50 by the end of 2008. Anyway, my mare Tucana is the first
horse I've owned since I've been married (10 yrs now, married 8 yrs when I
bought her). My husband and I lived in a horse barn for 3 years taking
care of 5 QH's and riding them (me more than him). And I also worked as a
Polo groom/junior rider for the team for a couple summers. My husband had
never ridden before he met me. I have been surpised at how well he would
do the few times he did ride with me. He did one short trail ride on a
sporty appaloosa. Rode a cute little cutting QH a bit at the barn we lived
in. And rode various QH's when we were dating.

As of just 3 weeks ago he became the new owner of a 16 yr old pb arab
mare. I guess he got tired of me bragging so much about my horse. And I
was complaining about not having any one to ride with. Plus my horse had
been by herself for about 6 weeks and he felt sorry for her and wanted her
to have a companion. I said, are you sure you want an Arab? He said, you
always say they are the best so that is what I should have. When we went
to look at her, he wouldn't ride her so I did. He said he trusted me.
Later he told me he didn't want to ride in front of the seller and all the
people he had there. (There were quite a few adults watching me ride this
horse, seemed a little wierd but didn't bother me). She seemed steady, and
very forward. Not spooky. That was the main thing. My mare can be spooky.
And I didn't want that for Allen (my husband). My husband talked the
owners way down on her price and next thing I knew my husband owned a

For the first 2 weeks she was at our place I rode her some, but he didn't
want to. But we were planning a 7.5 mile trail ride out at a nearby state
park on saturday 7-7-07. I said, don't you think you should try her out
before then? Not to mention the fact that he really didn't have a saddle.
I have a great Bob Marshall endurance saddle that I just love. And I had
talked him into getting a Bob marshall trail saddle that I seen on the
internet for a steal, it was a 14 inch though. I ride in a 14 inch, and I
told him the girls (we have 3 very young girls) could eventually use it.
So he said he'd just use that. I said it's going to be too small for you.
He's fairly good shape. He's 6 foot about 180lbs.

He finally got on his horse Tuesday night after we put the kids to bed. He
said the only way he'd ride with me is if I tack up his horse. So I tacked
her up. He walked her in the round pen. Jazzy, his horse, has a fast walk.
He wasn't used to it at first and said he wanted to slow her down. I said,
no, no, you will appreciate that. After a while he did have her walking
more relaxed and could stop her and start her and turn her. So he was
happy enough and that was that. He rode her again briefly on Thursday

Saturday morning came and I loaded up our horses and went. I only have one
breast collar so I figured he'd better use it. Before this week, it had
been 6 years since he had rode a horse!

We get there and I tack up the horses. He looks for the bathroom and then
talks to the only other couple out there. They are taking a longer trail
then what we were going to do. I said to him privately that we could go
with them if he wanted, but he didn't want to. Again, I think he was
embearsed.  I've only done this trail 3 times. And my horse is still not
real reliable. She likes to spook a lot at the beginning of a ride and
sometimes gets stuck. She does better, is braver, if I let her go faster.
But he was saying he just wanted to walk at first. And that he would tell
me when he felt comfortable enough to trot.

So we led the horses onto the trail. I held Jazzy so he could get on her.
Then I got on. We walked just a little ways then I got off and tightened
his saddle. We started off again. He wanted me to lead. I figured it was
best. Didn't want Jazzy in the lead taking off running and him not being
able to stop her!

It was a nice day, and the trail was almost a 100% shaded. And not too
muddy either. We didn't go but a mile and Tucana stopped at a ditch that
had mud at the bottom and she just would not cross it. I knew Jazzy would.
(I had trail rode her the previous Sunday and discovered that she is an
awesome trail horse. Very bold and brave and willing to go anywhere you
point her at what ever speed you ask her.) So I told Allen to take it
first. He pointed Jazzy at it and she stopped for a second then did one of
those jumps from a stand still. It caught Allen totally off guard. But
luckily he stayed balanced over her. I told him I was proud, and that he
did really well to stay on her. He led for a little ways then wanted me to
go ahead of him. I could trot my mare slowly and he could do a fast walk
behind me. But I eventually got him to trot. He didn't really like it. And
never could figure out posting. (the week before we went I tried to
explain it to him) Jazzy does have a rough trot and I knew it would be
uncomfortable to sit. But I was just getting so bored of walking! We were
past the half way point and he had been trotting pretty well with me but
finally begged me to walk again. I asked him as we were walking if he
figured out posting. He said no. I said you could at least stand up in
your stirrups and raise your butt out of the saddle, maybe hold on to the
horn. That might help sometimes. So we went back to trotting and he said
that felt better. We got a couple miles from the trailer and started to
canter up a hill. He yelled stop stop! I stopped and looked back and his
saddle was dangeling way over to the side. He got it righted without
getting off and started on again. I said lets stop so I can try to tighten
up your saddle some more. But he didn't want to. By now he had a headache.
Said his butt hurt and that he was ready to be done. And started begging
me not to trot any more. We didn't but we came to another hill and I asked
him if we could run up it again. He begrugenly said okay and we took off
up the hill. But before we got all the way up he was yelling stop, stop
again. And his saddle was way over to the side again! Luckily he had a
breast collar on or else it would have been off. We walked the horses the
last mile to the trailers.

When I was untacking the horses I felt Jazzy's girth and I don't think I
could have gotten it any tighter. So it was either the rider or the
saddle. It is soft in the middle. And maybe he just can't ride in a bob

At least our ride went well and he said he'd come back to ride with me
again. Just not anytime in the near future. And that was supposed to be
our date, the one we've been trying to take for about 3 months now!

Today he showed me he has a blister on his hand from gripping the horn so
hard when he was riding. He is a software engineer and works on a computer
all day. He's not really the outdoor farm type. I do really appreciate
that he can ride with me though. I'm sure not all husbands would do that.

Michelle Detmer


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