Sunday, May 16, 2010

fear is the lock and laughter the key

Saturday morning was sunny but very windy. After grooming and grazing the boys, I got a crazy idea to ride Pie without a bridle or saddle. This photo above is from my third ride on Pie yesterday. I could not handle a camera during my first ride without a bridle. I had read Bay State Brumby's post Of Pigs and Superheroes while drinking my coffee in the morning, and I was very inspired to ride Pie without anything. Click here if you didn't watch the videos. I ride Pie bareback and bitless all of the time, but I really want to work toward riding him without anything. Even though it was windy, he was being all lovey-dovey and I could tell he would be a good boy. I had my mom hold him in his halter and lead so I could get on. She was reciting a continual litany about how crazy I was, and how bad they (the horses) were in the early morning, playing and racing around and that I was nuts. I do think the comedy of my mom and I together is understood by Pie. He is relaxed through all our antics because we don't take ourselves too seriously. Finally, I got on and unhooked the lead. He still had his halter on, but I had nothing attached to it so I held on to his mane. At first, he stood by the gate completely baffled about the whole setup. I don't ride him in the pastures very often and he wanted to go out. I squeezed very gently, and he walked on. We walked down and around a second pasture. Some low flying loud military planes (Blue Angels?) went over, but Pie held it together. I wasn't able to get him to bend as well as I imagined, but he still responded amazingly well to some of my signals. It was a super beginning. I kept smiling and laughing the whole time because I dream of riding him without a bridle or saddle and I was that much closer. I hope I can get some photos of our next "naked" (him - not me!) ride.
Next, I put on Pie's bridle and rode him around the farm until mom was ready to ride. Then, I tacked up Sovey-boy and we all headed out for a perfect May ride in the wind and sun. We had a ball!
Sovey spies a baseball game at the church.

Pie munches yummy clover after his good-boy ride.


  1. Very fun - glad it worked out well! When I was very young - younger than 10 - there was a field of ponies across the street from me, and I used to go over there and go "pony-hopping" - I would just jump on one and off we'd go - they'd gallop madly through trees and up and down hills until I would finally fall or get off - no steering or speed regulation whatsoever. I was lucky not to get killed. Not at all like your experience!

  2. Congrats on your first "naked" ride. It's an amazing feeling.

  3. Kate - You sure were wild. I am glad Pie didn't take off - I would have jumped off.

    Sydney - Thanks. It was amazing. When I was younger I always rode my mare "naked" - she was a calmer horse, I think though. Pie is 5 and full of TB spirit.

  4. Oh Lovely Juliette!
    I never plan on that with the Wa..she tries to unmount me with gear on! How easy it would be with out!

    Your boys are so well behaved...neat!
    OH>>>I LOVE that video ...had it on my blog last week too! Pretty man loved it as well.
    Yes...would love to see some footage of a ride you have "Naked"(them, not you!) tehehe!

  5. PS
    I love that shot of beautiful PIE a the top...had to take another gander of him...handsome!

  6. Oh what a fun day! Your camera takes such ethereal photos, so perfect for your tone of 'voice.'
    When I worked at a dude ranch one summer, at age fearless 20, I rode anything and hopped on the horses in their huge pasture to play and loved when they took off and I just went with it. I dont know that girl as much anymore but I'm hoping to reconnect with her, lol!!
    How good that your ponies feel your laughter and are reassured by it. :)

  7. Congratulations on your first bridleless ride - how exciting! I did my first bridleless ride almost seven years ago, and these days it feels absolutely normal to hop on sans tack.

    One of my favorite quotes about bridleless riding is from Pat Parelli. He often says, "When I have bridle, I ride as if I don't have one. When I don't have a bridle, I ride as if I do." (Or something like that!) Keeping that in mind improves my riding all around I think.

    Have fun with your continued bridleless experiments! Sounds like you've got a great horse to share them with in Pie. :)

    Sarah from Parelli

  8. Riding bareback while some blue demons were zooming over you!???!! That is so brave of you, so skilled you must be, with such a good horse under you!! That is very inspiring! I love your mom; I can just hear her going on. Or, my idea of your mom anyway. Don't you love that guy in France in the video? I love how at one point he is galloping (galloping!!!!!!!!) with no bridle or saddle! And then he actually turns to look behind him!! As if galloping with no saddle or bridle and casually turning to see what is going on behind him is no big deal!! Just when I think I have come so far with lilly, I see that and want to shriek. For two reasons: one because it is all-out the best thing ever, and two because I want to do it and can't! Maybe one day. Maybe one day.

  9. allhorsestuff - KK - you make me laugh! Wa wouldn't unseat you, but she looks like she is built like Sovey - not too comfortable bareback. Pie is lovely in that photo. He is a beautiful horse - inside and out!

    Kristen - You are on your way to that 20 year old girl with your Laz. He is making you fearless! Thanks for the new perspective on my camera. It has been making me crazy, but you made me view it differently!

    Sarah Espinoza-Sokal - Thanks for the words of encouragement. I like that analogy about riding with and without bridles. I do think I feel like I am riding as if I don't have a bridle when I do. I will have to try it more the other way around. Pie is a great horse!

    baystatebrumby - I am not skilled at all!!! I was just nuts that morning because of your video!!! And...I do have a sweet, sensitive Pie under me. You SO get my mom. She is very funny. And about that guy in the video...yes, I saw him nonchalantly turn around...he is so calm and relaxed and I want to be him. He reminds me of my Brian a little bit. Brian is calm on a horse. (Now, we just have to get Brian to gallop without tack!!!) Thanks for the morning inspiration. Your Bill will have you riding like that guy in no time. I am on my own here. I need a Bill.


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