First bareback and bridleless ride on River

Today, not quite on a whim but definitely in a playful mood, I tied my savvy string around River’s neck and asked her to line up at the mounting block. We’d had fun playing stick-to-me at liberty — in all three gaits in several directions — and it just felt like the next natural step would be to make the stick-to-me more literal.

We both enjoyed it! She put a lot of effort into listening and figuring out what I wanted her to do, and I made sure to appreciate her willingness and to accept some of her suggestions, such as stopping to smell the manure; and in encouraging and supporting her ideas, I caused her to accept all of my ideas, such as walking forward when I asked and then stopping when I exhaled and melted into my seat.

Maybe it’s my efforts to be more playful, to smile and laugh a lot, to “be pleased” as we said in The Clinic. Or maybe it was just that without a rein to obsess about Not Using, I had more focus for my seat and my balance and moving in harmony with her. Either way, I ended up feeling more secure on her naked back than I remember feeling before.

She asked questions when she couldn’t tell what I was asking her to do, and that helped me become more clear in my communication. We practiced walking, turning, and stopping, and went twice around the arena. At that point, figuring that things had gone super duper well, I hopped off.

It’s hard to stop right when my confidence is rising and the joy is bubbling and I want to keeping going and do more more more. Yet, feeling that way is also a pretty good sign that it is time to stop. Ending on a high point allows both of us to take time to lick and chew and look forward to doing it again soon.

And then, of course, we had plenty of time for scratches.

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Categories: Freestyle | Tags: | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “First bareback and bridleless ride on River

  1. Barbara

    This is awesome, regina! River looks interested and connected — and look how Fast she’s walking! And you look confident and comfortable — perfect!

  2. Thank you 🙂 she really was into it — lately Erin and I have both been experimenting with more draw, less drive, and in my case being more playful and less “working on XYZ” — and we are both feeling that River is enjoying this experiment. Going from stick-to-me at liberty on the ground to on her back felt so right, so I tried it, and i’m so glad I did!

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