Getting On Bareback

By Terry Golson


While Tonka’s saddle is off getting widened, (he’s put on muscles like the Incredible Hulk, and the saddle was pinching his shoulders) I am borrowing a friend’s bareback pad. Tonka is not thrilled about this. The pad does not have the fleece-covered girth that he is used to. Tonka is very, very fussy about the girth that I use. He only likes this one. Which is okay with me, as it is inexpensive! I’ve tried the supposedly ergonomic girth, which costs several hundred dollars, and Tonka refused to let me on when wearing it. Tonka’s saddle has other features that he likes. There’s the (expensive) comfy thick sheepskin pad which cushions him from my bouncing, and the saddle itself has a tree and panels that float and conform to his movement. If you’re a horse person you know what I’m talking about, if not, don’t worry about it. Suffice it to say that Tonka is not thrilled about me riding bareback, even with a pad that provides a tad of protection from my sitting bones on his back.

Thankfully, the stable has a tall mounting block, and Tonka lets me on.

 

It’s not elegant.

 

But I manage to settle in.

 

Tonka definitely deserves a cookie for his tolerance.

 

I don’t want to do more than walk up there – it’s kinder for both of us! So we go out into the field. The weather is beautiful.

 

But the deer flies find Tonka,

 

and then they find me.

 

We go back to the indoor. He looks happy about that.

 

So, instead of enjoying the summer sunshine, we do a half-hour of exercises at the walk in the arena. I keep it interesting and rewarding for him. I’ll share what those are in my next blogpost.


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6 thoughts on “Getting On Bareback

  • Chicken Carol

    Bare back riding looks difficult and those pesky flies are such a nuisance.

    I spend a lot of time in the garden and in with the chickens and am always bitten all over by mosquitoes at this time of year. We also have horse flies in this garden which I have never had in past gardens. We have been here eleven years and every year I get bitten by them and have had ankles swell up and they used to pour with puss and take ages to heal. I now find that if I put antiseptic cream on them straight away I don’t suffer. It must stop the infection and they aren’t anything like as bad. This comment should have been on your last post but I didn’t get round to it. The antiseptic cream really does help although that’s for you not Tonker. I feel sorry for horses being bothered by the deer flies too, not something I have encountered luckily.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      Ouch! Gardening with horse flies isn’t the idyllic experience you imagine that gardening should be. They slash when they bite. Glad you found a cream that works to quell the infection.

  • Gin

    Since Tonka is touchy about you riding bareback, would he ride double if someone you might be riding with had a horse get away, or lame? My mare decided to lay down and roll when I was riding last spring, luckily I got out from under her with only a bruise, but I didn’t have a get down rope and lost the reigns and she trotted off, so my first thought was we didn’t know if any of the other horses would ride double and I might have a long walk back. Only one way to find out, and that can get pretty western if they don’t like it. One of the other riders caught her down the trail a ways.
    At least you have an indoor place to ride to get away from the flies. They are still here in force. Looking forward to your next post about the exercises.