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Back in the saddle again and NOT HURTING!!!

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  • Back in the saddle again and NOT HURTING!!!

    I have ridden ARabians for years, posted more miles in the saddle than I will ever be able to count, and loved every minute of blasting through the woods. Left it to show, go driving, combined driving. Rode intermitently and every time my knees hurt so bad after I rode, that I seemed to ride less and less. Got tossed and lost my confidence in the saddle. Strange thing that is was, I grew in my confidence in the cart.

    Fast forward now 5 years, haven;t ridden much. Get a chance to purchase a 14 yr old TWH for a small vet bill. Long story short, but basically girl rescues (is given) 2 TWH horses that are underweight, haven;t been ridden in 4 years, very natty coats, wormy, feet have not been done in months, no shots, 3 year old coggins. She puts some money in basic care with the vet, worms them and starts feeding them. She offers me one of them for the vet bill. I jumped on it once I rode Smokey.

    I am now back in the saddle for the first time with any consistency now in almost 6 years. He is a dream. Such a sweet heart, gaits like a dream, forward, moves out nicely. He has done so much to help my confidence as well!! No spooks, a little sticky now and again if he doesn;t want to do what I ask, but ultimately he gives in without a fuss and a gives a big sigh. But considering he hasn;t been made to do anything in 4 years, this is workable.
    I have been learning how to ask correctly for him to gait (after 20 years of equitation lessons). Lordly it is so great to be back out on the trails ON a horse!!! Riding is a lot easier than trail driving a cart--no limitations or gaps to worrry about.

    I am enjoying riding so much I that I have driven once since Feb!!!

    Granted my rides are not blasting through the woods for hours on end on my Arabs (whom I still love for driving) but we are back out there!!!

    Nothing better than on a horse in the woods on a cool morning with friends!!!! And even better, ride, not hurt for a week afterwardand be able to walk as well!!!!

    Just wanted to share.

  • #2
    That's just wonderful. It really is such a great feeling to find the right partner, and get back a real love for riding. My story is different but similar, with the same ending -- finding a super TWH that has changed my whole attitude about riding and made me a (gaited) convert with very little desire to look back.

    I'm SO glad to hear you're loving it and not hurting -- that can be such a big deterrent to getting out there. So, are you going to change your screen name from Cartfall to Horsefall?

    Happy, happy trails to you. Wish you were up here in VA -- we're having amazing weather today and I can't find someone to ride with!
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
    <>< I.I.


    • Original Poster

      JR, I am sorry you can;t find folks to ride with. Been there done that--just had to widen my base until I found a good group to ride with now and again.

      Unlike your season to ride just starting, ours is ending. We ride from September through May here. Actually I ride/drive all summer long--just get up really early to beat our bad humidity and heat.

      Nope, cartfall has its notorierty and uniqueness.

      Good luck with trying to find like minded folks.


      • #4
        That's awesome! My knees have been acting up lately too, even when not riding. I might have to go gaited for the next horse, but Gus is only 15. I have years of sore knees left. Congratulations and here's to many more miles of pain-free fun. (AND you gave a horse that had not lived such a great life a new chance as well.)


        • #5
          You gave me a nice flashback to when I met my sweet grade walker gelding --living in a real hell-hole, undone feet, no Coggins (I did insist the person selling him to go get one or I was not going to buy) wormy, headshy and uncatchable...

          We took care of catching and worming as soon as we got him home and soaked the nasty grown into his jaw halter off his poor head. He took ten minutes to catch and halter the first time at home. Five minutes the second time, 30 seconds the third time. That was over 3 years ago. The last time Mr Jeano had to catch him for the farrier he didnt have a clue how to tie the rope halter and Hawk basically stuck his head in it the right way and stood there patiently until Mr Jeano figured it out. He's a real lap horse now and a wonderful, willing trail horse. He will go anywhere, anytime, and is always fresh and ready to go some more.

          He's trotty so not so easy on my knees as I could wish, but I can always ride the other horse on bad knee days.


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by cloudy18 View Post
            That's awesome! My knees have been acting up lately too, even when not riding. I might have to go gaited for the next horse, but Gus is only 15. I have years of sore knees left. Congratulations and here's to many more miles of pain-free fun. (AND you gave a horse that had not lived such a great life a new chance as well.)
            I was not planning on buying a horse. I had my best friend Nova, my 24 year old distance horse, who I could still ride at a walk. She was the horse of a lifetime who takes care of herself and you at the same time. We had so many miles and adventures. She was so healthy I expected her to go another 10 years. Then one day she was there one minute and the next I had to put her down to a freak accident where she broke her leg. One of the top worst day of my life. But that is another story.

            But I am a person who thinks things happen for a reason. Nova crossed the Rainbow Bridge so there would be room in my barn and heart for Smokey who needed me. She will await me when it is my time to join her and all others important to me (people and animals). Right now Smokey and I are building such a great relationship. Is it better than what I had with Nova? Not something I choose to look at--more a case of he and I will have our own special history. He is really such a sweetheart.


            • #7
              Yep, with most animals we love it isn't a case of one being better than the other, it's just a different relationship. Sorry for your loss, and wishing you many happy trails with the new guy.


              • #8
                Congrats!! Hurting and being in pain sure takes the enjoyment out of a nice trail ride. Glad you found a new partner who can provide you with a nice comfortable ride.

                Sorry to hear about the loss of your Nova...
                MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

                Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                • #9
                  Cartfall is my riding buddy and I like to take credit for "forcing"
                  her to consider a gaited horse. When I decided I wanted to
                  ride regularly after a 20 year layoff, I knew I needed a gaited horse for the glide ride. After finding a really nice mare and
                  then losing her 2 months later to EPM, I was ready to forget
                  it, but ended up finding a young TWH mare with a wonderful,
                  consistent gait. She has some strange issues, but nothing I
                  can't handle and her gait makes up for anything.

                  Then I met cartfall and she would complain of knees hurting, etc. Most times she would end up dismounting and leading
                  her horse back to the trailhead. I felt bad for her. Then we
                  went to try Smokey one day, certain that we wouldn't like him for a couple of reasons I can't recall. Shortly after leaving the
                  trailers, he held his head on a perfect vertical and gaited
                  smoothly. The look on her face was priceless and the rest
                  is history. Our only problem is that our horses are so bonded
                  that they can be pills in a big group, but we have lots of fun.

                  Right now we are dealing with the Fla. heat, which requires
                  getting up early to keep from melting. For anyone in
                  doubt about choosing a trail horse---WALK ON!