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Horse Master Rosie

Smile Rosie 

Muck Boot Diva 

HeadshotI arrived promptly for my first riding lesson in several decades.

I pulled up the long drive and turned down my radio that had been blasting Sarah Vaughan’s rendition of Day In – Day Out. I didn’t want to spook Rosie before meeting her.

Looking at a potentially electrified fence I decided two days of lightning bolts were quite enough for me. I shouted, “Is this thing off” to the nearby barn. A muffled “Yes” was my reply, so I ducked under the wires and off I went.

When I originally heard there was the possibility of riding a Percheron my medieval radar went up. Percheron’s were used by armored knights during the Middle Ages, and that was of interest. Just the Lit major in me I guess.

My farm in CNY is kind of like living in one of those fortresses in the Middle Ages. It is well bejeweled and has all the romance and panache of a fairy tale – but for all realistic rationale it is more like a chic camping experience in the shell of a former barn.  We have dubbed it “the castle”.

I made my way into the stable and the two horses that stood before me looked nothing like the mares that were sent to me by way of email. In the photo they looked like midget ponies rather than the massive beasts that stood in front of me. I must say I was rather impressed – especially since Rosie was the biggest.

After my brushing lesson, Horse Master Reyna put the saddle on Rosie. This is where the fun begins.

I often wonder, when bored, if the Maker of all Things, and His angels, tune in to my Heavenly network, DE (Divine Entertainment), to see just how this Diva will make it through each day.

Hey, if Oprah can have her own network, so can I.

I am confident the substance I brush off my shoulders now and then is not sporadic dandruff, but most certainly angelic popcorn dust! I looked up at the barn ceiling, and a little of that dust got in my left eye.

I winced. The angels snickered.

Well, it seems my legs are a bit extended. I’ve always been aware of that.

I suspected this may be an issue today. Horse Master Reyna just kept looking and shaking her head – “Wow, you do have long legs don’t you?”

She pulled out the stirrups to lengths I do not think they had ever seen. I heard mention of some additional hole poking in the future as they were being adjusted.

Then there was the saddle. I have my own suspicions about that, so we will leave this tidbit till later.

We headed out to the “ring” cause this Diva had not been on a horse for years, and I did not want my freshly obtained Horse License revoked from the doctor just yet; I vowed to behave.

Riding the ring. Well, this certainly would be a sight for all those who dubbed me with the nickname Xena, Warrior Princess. I just don’t get it. I actually broke down and bought the whole darn series, watched it, and believe me there is utterly no similarity. I couldn’t slay a Cyclops, though I do admit — I swing a mean fly swatter!

The Diva rode around in a circle with Rosie who eventually used a little equine telepathy with me. As Horse Master Reyna instructed me on proper seating, and foot placement we began to realize the stirrups just might become an issue.

Driving Miss Rosie was a whole new experience let me tell you – nothing like a bike or car. If you are dyslexic — you are sunk man. Pull the rein out with your right arm, then your left, apply pressure with your leg to make her turn, kick to make her go and pull back to make her stop.

I had visions of failed water ballet and aerobic classes — I wondered if I ever told Reyna I can’t dance.

Rosie snickered with the angels. I swear they were in on this together.

While trying to maintain proper seating and pressure on the balls of my feet Rosie decided to take me for an unauthorized “ride”. We had a little talk along the way. “HEY!” I said, “THIS is lesson number one – cantering is NOT on the list for today. Reyna ain’t gonna like it – SHE’S the Horse Master you know.”

Rosie whinnied back, “She’s MY Horse Master – I’m YOUR Horse Master.” After a little more cantering I swear she sucked in her gut; my saddle slid sideways.

I seethed. “I’ve never fallen off a horse in forty-seven years – and your not gonna be the first.”

“So,” I asked Horse Master Reyna, “can I pull her over to that fence and hop off – the saddle’s sliding.” She looked at me oddly and asked, “Can you – I mean, just hop off?”

Rosie’s over 17 hands. I took that into consideration.

To hell with the rules.  I get my massage Tuesday.

The one good thing about long legs is that they come in handy some times. I grabbed the fence and swung over into a semi-clumsy dismount – but landed standing. I heard the angels crumpling up their popcorn bags unhappily, but Rosie winked.

“Not bad. I was planning on dropping you off in that pile over yonder.”

I told her I already took that possibility into consideration.

Tipping my MonaVie hat, I said, “Till next time,” and decided to come back to the barn and sweat brush her off since she did lug this novice around the ring and surely endured some horse embarrassment for it.

Plus, I thought it might help patch up that respect thing. The apple treat I passed off to her later didn’t hurt our relations either.

Later!

Splashingly yours,

Muck Boot Diva

mary carton
7/22/2011 9:17:07 PM

Welcome to Grit from a fellow newby blogger. Dad bought us an old mare named Molly. She was some where between 20 and 50 yrs old and knew every trick in the book. How many times did she act like she was lame and we would get off walk her to the pasture and when we took the bridle off she would trot off without a limp. Mary


muck boot diva
7/22/2011 3:28:38 PM

Yup. 5' 10" tall and the stirrups are set (I believe) at hole number 6 on the left and 7 on the right -- they pounded some in there... (just a beginner here). MBD


vickys
7/22/2011 10:47:57 AM

I really liked your story. I have been riding a sweet Percheron-Standarbred cross mare for the last 26 years and just want to let you know that for riding one of these horses you are lucky that you have long legs. I am 5 foot 1 inch tall and i can tell you it is quite a sight seeing me get on that horse. Sadly, she is not in the condition any more for me to ride her so the new horse that i am riding is a 14 hand POA, a little more my size. Have fun riding your big girl.


vickys
7/22/2011 10:45:15 AM

I really liked your story. I have been riding a sweet Percheron-Standarbred cross mare for the last 26 years and just want to let you know that for riding one of these horses you are lucky that you have long legs. I am 5 foot 1 inch tall and i can tell you it is quite a sight seeing me get on that horse. Sadly she is not in the condition any more for me to ride her so the new horse that i am riding is a 14 hand POA, a little more my size.


vickys
7/22/2011 10:44:37 AM

I really liked your story. I have been riding a sweet Percheron-Standarbred cross mare for the last 26 years and just want to let you know that for riding one of these horses you are lucky that you have long legs. I am 5 foot 1 inch tall and i can tell you it is quite a sight seeing me get on that horse. Sadly she is not in the condition any more for me to ride her so the new horse that i am riding is a 14 hand POA, a little more my size.


vickys
7/22/2011 10:44:18 AM

I really liked your story. I have been riding a sweet Percheron-Standarbred cross mare for the last 26 years and just want to let you know that for riding one of these horses you are lucky that you have long legs. I am 5 foot 1 inch tall and i can tell you it is quite a sight seeing me get on that horse. Sadly she is not in the condition any more for me to ride her so the new horse that i am riding is a 14 hand POA, a little more my size.


krispykat
7/22/2011 8:48:16 AM

Well, MBD, I just want to say that I totally enjoyed your article, your scense of humor, and your writing style! Excellent!!


muck boot diva
7/17/2011 8:31:21 PM

P.S. Dave -- that sounds like some fancy ridin' there! Lived to tell the tale, huh? I expect Rosie may have some tricks up her saddle for me, but , as it has been said by the Wonder Down Under herself, "I have MANY skills..."


muck boot diva
7/17/2011 1:13:25 PM

Hi All -- The Diva thanks you for reading! I am almost off into the land of five hours of traffic, smog, and horrific sun glare -- all just to get back to NJ. Yep. NJ. (The Diva bangs her head on the kitchen table crying out -- WHY???) Anyway, we just got the well pump working again -- never a dull moment here on the farm. The MWM is painting the barn, and I am deciding what I shall write for my next piece here. Riding with Rosie in two weeks -- on the trails!!! ;) Have a nice week! MBD


cindy murphy
7/17/2011 7:38:45 AM

Welcome to GRIT, Diva. Always a fan of Xena, and Muck Boots, I look forward to reading more.


nebraska dave
7/16/2011 8:43:00 PM

Hey Muck Boot, glad you decided to tell us about your adventure with riding Rosie. My back to riding experience was on an Arabian stallion which had a name I couldn't begin to pronounce. Yeah, he hadn't been ridden much but the owner wanted him to be ridden more to get him settled down. My friend that raises the Arabian horses wanted to go to a horse show in Denver and needed someone to watch the horses on the farm while he was gone with his show horses. I agreed to watch the horses if I could eventually ride one. I didn't know anything about horses and thought a horse is a horse right. The cowboys in the movies always had well behaved horses and my child hood experiences with riding horses were always good. Man alive when I mounted up on that stallion, I think he snorted fire and pawed the ground. There was no pressing the knee into the side and holding the reins loosely and steering by gently moving them in the direction you wanted him to go. It was hold on to those reins one in each hand with a death grip and hope I didn't bounce out of the saddle. Troting or cantering as they call it in the horse world was a nightmare. I think I was up out of the saddle airborne more then in the saddle. It seemed like everything I was going up he was going down and every time I was coming down he was going up. It was a good thing I didn't have false teeth or they would have rattled right out of my mouth. After a half an hour, I was much better at coinciding with the up and down cantering motion but it wasn't such a easy ride around the ring. The first time a bird fluttered past behind him and he spooked and side stepped about three feet in a single jump, I almost lost my grip and flew through the air with the greatest of ease. I sure he would have like that. I came to the conclusion that Arabian stallions are not your relaxing gentle ridding horse. Have a great horse ridding day.