Water Baby


    Today was only the second time that Joey has been out in the country on a trail ride. As part of his continuing education I hauled him to the nature preserve outside of town. It’s an undeveloped portion of the Santa Ana River, a waterway that eventually flows into the Pacific. While I won’t cross the river during the winter or spring, when rain storms can swell the current and lead to pits of quicksand, in the summer and autumn the water level is low and the banks are solid. So I figured this was the perfect opportunity to introduce Joey to the task of crossing a wide swath of running water. I took along a camera to document the adventure, however, I’ll let Joey provide the commentary.

    Life with Horses - Water Baby“Bridges. They’re like an extra long trailer ramp. And just like climbing into a trailer, you never know exactly where a bridge will take you.”

    Life with Horses - Water Baby

    “Apparently, I’m either on a trail ride or it’s a really, really long walk to the show arena. Yet my mom seems very relaxed and she’s dressed in funky clothes (plus my mane isn’t even banded), so I’m going to guess we’re on a trail ride.” 

    Life with Horses - Water Baby“Looks like someone left the hose running back at the barn. Either that, or I slept through a major rainstorm last night, because this place sure has a heck of a lot of water!”
    Life with Horses - Water Baby“Wait a second. You want me to actually step into the water? Have you noticed it’s moving? And it’s awfully far to the other side. Where’s a bridge when you really need one? Honest, I think I saw a sign for a ferry crossing a few yards back… Oh geez. You’re serious! Alright already. Enough with the clucking. And yes, I can feel your spur in my side. I’m going, I’m going!… Wow, it’s not that bad. In fact, it’s kinda fun! If I prance, I can make the water splash all over my mother’s new saddle!”
    Life with Horses - Water Baby“Despite the fact that I attempted to celebrate my maiden voyage across the river by rolling in the warm, dry sand on the opposite bank—you wouldn’t believe how fast my mom can jump out of a saddle!—I was declared a ‘Good Boy’. Fortunately, we met up with some friendly ladies on friendly horses, and they were nice enough to take a photo of my mom and me. I tried hard to put my ears up, but I was too busy playing with the roller on my bit. It’s my pacifier. When you’re only three, you’re allowed to be a kid, even when it comes time to pose for a snapshot.”

    Have any thoughts to share? Just click on Submit a Comment below, or email me at: hc-editor@bowtieinc.com. Joey and I will read them all!

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    1. very nice article,very nice pictures. in regards to the last photo it is my opinion–and this is only for discussion not in criticism–a tall rider mounted on a short horse should sit tall in the saddle with a long leg even if that means controlling the horse with the back of the calf rather than with the heel or the spur. it is up to the well educated horse to adapt to its rider rather than the rider having to adapt to the conformation of each individual horse!

    2. Thanks for the comment, Bruce. However, just so you know… in that photo I am sitting in a BRAND NEW SADDLE, as you can read in my comment about Joey splashing in the water. I had to trade in another saddle I’d just bought because the cantle rubbed against the computer implant in my butt! So I wasn’t sure where to put the stirrups as the fenders were still stiff. Besides, I’ve ridden hunters for 40 years. To me, the stirrups at that length feel long in comparison to a huntseat saddle. If it makes you feel any better, I lengthened them a hole yesterday, now that the leather has relaxed and stretched a little.

    3. Good boy Joey, I know that water, moving none the less, is very scarey. You were brave. Keep up the good work. Looks like you both had a ton of fun. Just remember, keep your ears up next time for the camera. LOL

    4. I think this article is really good because I like the pictures of the horse and I like how it seems like the horse is speaking his mind through his point of view.


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