Friday, December 4, 2009

Horses are for Riding

After TEOTWAWKI, You may need to travel by horse- If you find a loose horse is he:
     Or just gentle enough to fool you till your on his back?

Horses are a Passion for me. If you get one and want to know if he is "broke to ride" jump on  bare back and find out. I have known people that would do just that, but If the horse is not broke they could stay-on and get-off somewhat safely.

Horses are sold every day under the premise of being broke to ride. Many an auctioneer has said "you betcha you can put a saddle on him and ride him around". Some times even if a horse is sold with a rider demonstrating that the horse is broke. He may not be broke. Just caus you saw him getting rode doesn't mean he is broke (how this is done is a subject for another post).

A better way to find out if there broke to ride, firmly hold his lead rope close to the halter. Use your other hand to set the blanket on his back. If he explodes whip his head towards you, this moves his back end away (the hind end on a horse is like a gun barrel-keep it pointed in a safe direction).

Do the same with the saddle, only giving him as much slack on the lead rope as necessary to reach the cinch strap. Tighten the cinch strap in gentle steps but get it tight enough to slip some fingers inside. If you made it this far and the horse did not explode, he is probably broke to ride.

Remember, there are no hospitals, well at least they may not be functioning, after SHTF or TEOTWAWKI.

Holding the horse by his lead rope near the halter. Walk with him to one side of you (if he is following you and happens to explode he could trample you). On a green horse some times when they start walking the stirrups bumping can spook them. If he does spook same thing here, pull his head to you and his butt away.

After walking him around the yard for a while, Re-tighten his cinch it tends to loosen after the horse relaxes. Start putting your foot in the stirrup and gently increase the weight in the stirrup. The left side is the correct side to mount. A well broke horse should be ok with either side. Try the stirrups on both sides to get an idea of how much experience he has (if any).After you have done this several times, start putting all your weight in the stirrup by standing up in it.Same thing here If he explodes, jump back pull his head to you. You will need to always have the lead rope in your hand never let go till your sure your out of harms way. Keep in mind an ill fitting saddle can cause a horse to act up. If the horse is calm but tries to move away with weight in the stirrup, Check the saddle for good fit, pinching or other discomforts. A quick fix is to add more saddle blankets or pads, dont be afraid to use three blankets and pad. Generally dont use more than one pad.

After a while of standing in the stirrup lay your body across the saddle, Then when both are ready sit in the saddle, climb off and on several times. If he explodes with you on him try to keep your seat, use the lead rope to turn him in a circle till he calms down (good luck with that). After you have mounted several times put your boot in the other stirrup, Then just sit there till your comfortable. Dismount put his head stall on standing on his side (left side usually).  Work his reins from the ground some, make sure he responds with light pressure. Then mount-up then just sit there. When you are ready squeeze him gently with your calves (dont kick him!!!!)

Happy trails! 

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