1st Bareback Ride!

Yesterday at the barn I skimmed over my barn chores so I’d have time to hang out with Baron and let him graze in the spring grass. It was such a pleasant evening, the temperature was perfect and everything was quiet around the barn. I decided on a whim to see if Baron would let me ride him bareback. I haven’t been riding at all for about a month because I’m 33 weeks pregnant, but bareback is something I’ve really been wanting to try and for some reason I decided last night was the perfect time. As far as I know, this is the first time Baron has ever been ridden bareback. I think this because: 1. Racehorses are typically not ridden bareback. They’re expensive animals and no one messes around with them or rides them just for the hell of it. When they’re being ridden, they’re being worked.  2. I tried to hop on Baron bareback a couple months after I bought him and it totally freaked him out. I did manage to get on, but he did a mini-buck and a bunny hop and I slid off before he had a chance to unseat me. He has NEVER acted like that under saddle, which makes me think bareback was a whole new experience for him.

So once I decided that I was going to give it another go, I led him over to the mounting block and laid my body across his back and rubbed his neck. I was shocked when he stood as still as a statue and let me lean on him and eventually throw one leg over his back. This is the horse who will under no circumstances stand still to be mounted. It usually takes 3 or 4 times of leading him up to the mounting block and trying to mount before I’m able to do it. As soon as he feels weight in one stirrup, he moves off. So needless to say I was thrilled when he stood stone still for me. Now keep in mind that I’m over 8 months pregnant and I have the equivalent of a basketball under my shirt. At first I didn’t think I would be able to mount because my baby belly made it so awkward. But after a few minutes, Baron dropped his head to graze and cocked his leg behind him. When he did, his shoulder dropped just enough so I could slide onto him fairly gracefully. Think graceful like an elephant, not graceful like a gazelle, ha ha! Once I was on, he took a couple steps and then started grazing again. 

I can’t tell you how thrilling this was for me. It was so peaceful and quiet with the sun going down and me sitting comfortably on my horse’s back while he enjoyed the new green grass. It was one of those moments where I was SO GLAD I owned my own horse. You can’t just hop on someone else’s horse bareback for the hell of it! It was the kind of moment where all the barn chores in the cold, all the farrier and vet bills, and all the worry that goes along with horse ownership is 100% worth it. Just me and my horse, hanging out.

What’s your moment with your horse? What makes it all worth it for you?

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