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Saturday, October 24, 2009

JJ: Dani Again

It took a while, but Dani turned into a great horse. The Arab Fire turned gentle and she became a horse just about anyone could ride. I think this was due more to her lovely temperament than my teachings, though, as she matured into a great horse while I became a barely adequate rider. I made one purchase that helped my riding, a new (used) saddle. My first saddle was a roping saddle with a "slick fork," the part of the saddle the horn is mounted on. It was designed for fast dismounts, the exact opposite of what I wanted. I traded it to some folks up on Whitefish Stage for a saddle of lesser quality that had an "undercut swell fork". I found that the swells helped hold me in the saddle as they'd catch my thigh before I went overboard sideways.
Front View
My Knee-Jerk Reaction was to cram my knee against the swell for leverage when I was toppling sideways. Sometimes it worked. I think I was still using the first saddle the day Bec & I rode out over the field of frozen summer-fallow. At one point, Dani shied at something, and when she skipped sideways I didn't. I hit the ground flat on my butt hard enough to knock the wind out of myself. When Bec trotted back and asked if I was okay I was able to gasp out a "Yes", but her reactions was a dry "I somehow doubt that, Dad!" The forks on the new saddle did keep me aboard when Dani stepped into a flock of pheasants in the grass along the creek on the farm. It seemed like the field just exploded under us, and in a sympathetic detonation Dani exploded too. We hit the ground a good twenty feet to the side of where we'd been, and surprisingly I was still in the saddle. I thanked the saddle, but I did sort of pat myself on the back a little. TBC (Me)