Friday, March 12, 2010

First Ride

Reading Bill's blog reminded me of the first time I "cowboy'd up" and rode Ranger.  (Isn't that how it works?  You hear one story and it reminds you of another, which reminds someone else of another? That's why I'm hoping that we'll have fodder for Ride of the Week for a long time.)

Bill bought Ranger in December of 1999;  he "spent the first year trying to buck him out; the second year healing and apologizing; and the third year training."

Ranger himself wouldn't let me close to him for years.  I'm not exaggerating.  Even when we were running the livery in 2004, Ranger wouldn't let me near him.  There was no way, rope or no rope, that I was allowed to catch him.  I, apparently, was not worthy.

Eventually, I'd had enough of not being able to catch him and started walking him down (yes, with a swinging rope).  It took a while, but I managed to catch him, rub him down, and then release him.  Soon, I was catching him for Bill before we went out on rides, leading him over to the lodge and helping get him tacked up.  I never rode him, just pulled him for Bill, then attended to whichever horse I'd be riding (Meeker, Estes, or Washoe - never Jesse - still haven't been up on that beast).

I finally decided that I wanted to ride Ranger and asked Bill's permission.  He said yes, even though only a couple of people had ever ridden him.  Other than Bill, I'd be the first family member up on him.  I played it around in my head for a couple of days, put on my big girl panties, and decided to do it.  It's not that I was necessarily afraid of Ranger, but let's just say I had a healthy respect for his ability to move when he so chooses.

I pulled Ranger from the pen, brought him over and tacked him up (there was no way my first ride was going to be bareback)...
I had to make nice with him before he allowed me to bridle him, but I managed.

Mom and the Monster got their horses ready.  When they were ready, I took a deep breath and swung on up...

He twitched an ear at me.  That's it.  Bill's big, bad, fire-breathing, trainer-chasing Mustang let out a sigh and twitched an ear.

We had a great ride and I've ridden Ranger a few times since then, even bareback, without a problem.  It seems as long as you don't do anything stupid, like joust from him, he's a pretty willing, easy-going horse.


Don't forget to join us on Wednesday, March 17 for Rachel's Ride of the Week.  It's an exciting one!


Allenspark Lodge said...

Time/Date stamp on the pictures say it was Sept. of 07. Seems like it was just last year I was holding my breath and those snapping photos to post over your hospital bed to let you know just what happened...

GunDiva said...

Thankfully you didn't get the pleasure of posting those over my hospital bed. He was a perfect gentleman. 'Course I don't expect him to do anything stupid.

You've done good work with that horse - thanks for taking all of the falls so that I didn't have to.

Linda said...

Funny! Good thing those weren't the last pictures of you being of sound mind and body. ;)

Anonymous said...

hahaha. awesome!!

Rachel said...

Love how horses manage to surprise us - so glad he was a gentleman for you!

(And cracking up at the comments :)