What’s a Saddle?

7On December 28, Laurie and I headed out to see Manny and Shauna ended up popping by later in the afternoon. Laurie went to get Manny for me as it is impossible for me to get in the pens. She got Manny organized and brought him over too me for some love! When it was time to take him to the arena, Laurie took him and I attempted not to get stuck; I got stuck! Laurie took Manny to the arena so he wouldn’t get cranky and have a fit. She came back to save me from the snow and we booked it from there!

When we got to Manny, and just as we were taking his blanket, Shauna showed up! While Manny rolled (surprise!) we caught up then I started lunging Manny. He bucked, and ran and did everything typical of Manny!  He followed me at a walk and we did some back up manny-5work. Then it happened. Laurie said since we had an extra person, would I want to ride him. YES! Then she said ‘bareback?’ . I was apprehensive at first but I’m so glad I did it and it was fabulous!! Shauna lined him up at the block and Laurie and I climbed up the block. I put my stomach on his mane and Laurie just literally threw me on! It was awesome. We made make shift reins out of two straps and I rode him completely tackless! No saddle, no bridle, just his halter! And I didn’t fall off!!

We started with Shauna walking at Manny’s head and Laurie hanging onto me. By the end, both of them were in the middle of the arena and it was just me and my boy! This was nothing like I have experienced before. My body was so relaxed. My right leg stayed down (for the most part) and my right arm was semi-calm! When I rode him with a sheepskin at PARDS it was not like that!! He neck reined so good! He’s a pro at that! It’s crazy to think that when he first came to PARDS and started working with me, he had no idea how to neck rein and now he doesn’t even need a bit! I wonder if I can just ride him with a neck rope?! Anything is possible with this horse!

mannyAfter we were done riding, we attempted to figure out how to get Manny to pick his foot up with mine. This might not be possible. However, I leaned that if you tap Manny just below his knee, he picks his foot up! I didn’t know this!! We will keep trying!

Then I attempted to get Manny to trot beside me to show Shauna and Laurie. Manny picked up the pace but didn’t break into it.  Laurie said I need to assure him that’s what I want and basically get that I want him to trot with me stuck in my head. So I grabbed a dressage whip and held it behind me. This worked but coming up the middle he switched sides on me. Looking at the video now, it makes sense why! We’ll keep working on it. Then Laurie took the whip and shook it to get him to trot. This worked too!!

I’m absolutely smitten with this horse! We have an incredible bond. There’s not many horses that I would trust to ride bare back and bit less  so thank you Manny! You are truly my heart horse!manny-2


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