So I had a clever idea – I should ride without stirrups a bit, as a compromise between riding bareback and pounding her back with my buttbones, and riding with stirrups and not improving my balance. Clever, yes? I thought so.
Dixie is in heat again, but – I hesitate to say this and jinx it – but she’s not losing her mind. She wanted to stop and flirt and pee for every horse in the barn, but she didn’t have that crazy edge to her. Perhaps we’re really getting somewhere!
I pulled the stirrups off the old saddle – they hang directly on the bars, so they’ll come completely off – and stuck the saddle on my princess. She patiently waited at the block while I tried to figure out how to get on without stirrups. If she were shorter, or if she wasn’t a living creature, I could’ve made it just fine, but I hesitate to fling myself at her like she’s a rock climbing wall. So I got mad and decided hell with this, I’ll just give her a bath.
I scrubbed at her tail for like 10 minutes – got lots of yellow suds, but no huge visible change overall. Her mane cleaned back up nicely! I put gobs of conditioner in her tail and very gently finger-combed it while it was conditioned, just to get it straightened a bit and get the dead hairs free.
She doesn’t pose well, unfortunately. Also I only really scrubbed her mane and tail. It’s all such a exercise in futility. (Cue ominous foreshadowing music…)
Then I realized I’d have to come home and blog about how I could not climb on my damn horse – who stood like a ROCK – without any damn stirrups and I decided we’d go for round two. I let her dry off mostly while she hand-grazed, then we went back in and I put the saddle on her again.
If the block was one step taller, no problem. If I was a graceful nymph who could vault lightly up there, no problem. I tried variations on flinging one leg over (got stuck on the cantle) and the belly-flop scramble (stuck in the belly flop). My amazingly patient mare just stood there, kind of confused about this strange new ritual but remarkably content to let me act like a retarded monkey.
Then I got super frustrated and yanked the saddle off her back and went storming back to the tack room, to grab Sara’s saddle and just ride, hell with this no stirrup learn to balance nonsense. When I came back, seconds later… she was on her back.
My wet white horse was on her back in the stanky arena sand.
Rolling. Gleefully. Really grinding it in.
I threw up my hands and put her back in her stall. You win this round, Dixie. Tomorrow is a new day.
Here’s the aftermath: