...quiet, about a lot of things...

Friday, August 25, 2006


It is a thing of beauty to watch someone ride well. For anyone who rides, knows, its not quite as easy as it looks. Today was a beautiful day for jumping. There are some days the horses just seem to love to jump. Those are the days were they hunt the fences, scanning the green fields for their next chance to fly. Horses are show offs...they love to compete, and hate to make mistakes. They really are very careful animals. I suppose I'd be careful too...If I was jumping over a wagon...with a monkey..(or human) on my back.

People sometimes ask me why horses do it?..jump these things we ask them too. Put horses in a field and left to their own devices, I've never seen them jump tires or coops or haybales. They spin and rear and buck and play, but I've never seen them jump an obstacle..unless chased by something and trying hard to escape.

Yet, put a rider on their back,if they respect that rider..these horses bound over anything...really anything...Go to Rolex..in KY..and you will horse fly over the most amazing things, at a full gallop. It is breathtaking.

So Why do they do it? Some do it out of fear, not many though. Believe me, if they are afraid..sooner or later, they stop....and sometimes, that's that.No more jumping. Period. Some do it cause horses love a JOB. This is their job. These horse can be machines. Lots of race horse come of the track knowing only one lead. The left..(diection of travel). They are born, broke to a saddle, gotten out of their stalls, walked to the track, breezed, walked back to the barn, hosed, wrapped, and deposited back in their stall. While its hard for me to imagine the monotony of this..some horses thrive. It's their job.

And some horses are like my horse. My lovely little horse Roux. Roux jumps for me. He flings his heart forward, and I follow. He didn't know what jumping was til we met. He wasn't at all sure it was for him. I wasn't sure it was for him. No one, certainly the observers gasping on the ground, was sure it was for him. But...I loved him. and as silly as this seems, I think he fell for me too. And so, since I kept INSISTING, he finally started trying. Once he started trying....there was no stopping him. Today he showed me he was willing to try just about anything.

Cross country jumps are varied. There's always a water obstacle, lots of solid fences, sometimes you jump off a bank...or up "steps". Then there are ditches, also refered to as coffins. Large holes in the ground, as far as the horse is concerned. Tigers at the bottom. Roux is not fond of ditches. It took a looooonnnnggg time to get over one..even a little teeny weeny one...that I could jump on the ground leading him over like a dog. I would jump back and forth...back and forth..with him in tow...people laughing at me..I'm sure I did look ridiculous.

Today, my little Roux, the Lion hearted jumped a ditch that made me tremble...probably at least 3 feet wide, and deeper than that. Put a foot wrong and you could fall in...like a COFFIN!!!! We galloped up, he looked...I looked.... and he jumped!!!Oh how I fawned over him. Leaning up to his ear I let him know what a stud muffin he is...and then, turned back to jump it again. We galloped and this time, no one looked.. we flew...and landing on the other side, I waved my hand in the air like a winning jockey. Roux shook his head from side to side in the way only a true champion can. Bring it on, he said... I stroked his neck and laughed. Oh, today was a good day for jumping!!
posted by wendy at 3:21 PM


My best friend in college was a competitor in cross country horse type events (can you tell I'm not a horsey person?). For her birthday one year I bought her a lesson in cross country jumping at a local horse stable. She loved it....the next year for my birthday she allowed me to ride her horse...which was a big deal because Emmy was her prized possession and best non-human friend. Anyway, I think it's really cool that you ride horses. I'm personally afraid of them because they are usually so much bigger than I am! And hooray for you and Roux for jumping the coffin! Great job! Sounds like a wonderful day for jumping!

8/25/06, 9:15 PM  

Horses scare the bejesus out of me, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the hard work and dedication that go into this kind of sport. WooHoo for both of you!

8/25/06, 9:41 PM  

What a horse with heart! Wonderful post. It's amazing how horses have their own personality and drive. We are big racing fans, as Longchamp in Paris is just across the street.

8/26/06, 2:34 PM  

Roux must be from the same family as my pony, Spec. I love the way you write about riding (and watching your horse eat--one of my greatest pleasures is watching Spec graze). And I'm happier around the horses than people, too.
I started a riding blog but haven't posted since the winter. Maybe when there's time, ha-ha.
I can't wait to read more about your adventures.

8/28/06, 5:42 AM  

Loved reading about Roux - what a champ. I just love the way you write about horses. You had me right there with you on the saddle! (Believe me, I was hanging on for dear life!) I've always wondered why horses jump ... thanks for answering that.

8/28/06, 6:18 AM  

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