Thursday, November 8, 2012

Saddle Your Own Broncs

My wife, Marlyn also enjoys horseback riding.  She grew up around large animals on a farm, but never rode horses very much until recently.  She has wanted her own saddle for a while now.  She has ridden in several, but we hadn't found one that was comfortable to her until last year.  That one belonged to someone else.  But, it became available recently, and we bought it.  Marlyn is a very independent person.  The first thing she wanted was to learn how to saddle a horse herself.  So, one sunny day, we went to Beaver Hollow Farm , and fetched Pepper out of the field. 

Marlyn & Pepper with her new saddle
 Pepper is a black Walking Horse.  His face is turning gray with age.  He is an old standby at the barn.  In his prime, he was a calm and steady trail horse.  A year or so ago, his age caught up with him, and he was retired from the trail.  He still earns his keep around the farm as a lesson horse for beginners.  We brushed him off and I showed Marlyn, step by step, how to put the saddle on.  Then, she rode around the farm for a while. 

Marlyn can saddle her own broncs

Of course, bronc is a relative term
 A week or so ago, Marlyn wanted to go riding again.  She used to ride Pepper, but now he's retired.  Her riding skills have also improved beyond what Pepper was capable of.  Instead, she rode a relative newcomer to the lineup, named Cindy Lou. 

Cindy Lou is a mature, well mannered horse with a smooth, steady gait.  Marlyn groomed and saddled her with no problems.  I saddled up a gentle horse and off we rode.  We put the horses through all their gaits, and had a long, relaxing ride through Pocahontas State Park. 

Enjoying the ride.
 One of Marlyn's other hobbies is nature photography.  We stopped often to take pictures of the Fall foliage and each other.  All in all, it was a good day spent enjoying the company of each other and a pair of good horses. 

Stopping by the dogwood tree

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