I believe in safety first. I use a helmet and a vest, and I check all my tack before I ride. Because bugs love my mare, after grooming her I use ample amounts of fly spray. Additionally, she wears a butt fly drape.
After I saddle her, I stretch her legs out to make sure the cinch isn’t pinching. I use a mounting block to save her back and my hips. Lastly, we head out to ride familiar trails.
My mare, Madea, is a dream. Her trot is like melting butter. She has her head down and relaxed. Clearly, she enjoys the rides as much as I do!
The Klutz Factor
Ahh… but then there is the klutz factor on my part. I like to dismount from both sides so she is used to it. She walks up perfectly to the mounting block. Furthermore, she stands like a statue.
One day, I am getting off on her right side. And then it happens…I missed the step. Because it is a plastic step, it tips and I go down. But not all the way down, because my foot is caught in the stirrup.
I grab for whatever I can grab, which happened to be the reins in my hand. In my mind, she’s going to bolt and I will be drug across the gravel parking lot. Thank heavens, my mare is awesome! She stood like a statue the entire time.
I finally get my foot free and end up completely on the gravel with the plastic step tangled in my feet. Madea looks at me like she’s thinking, “Are you done messin’ around yet?”
You can be as safe as possible but the klutz factor is always lurking in the background. Thank goodness the only witness was my riding partner. The only damage was to my pride. (I think my friend did pull a muscle from laughing, once she knew I was okay!)