Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Covering Country~

"Typical" Trail at the Bryce XP
Since my one time at a multi-day ride, was well before I started this blog - today I will digress back - almost seven years now & comment on what I learned there & what I'm learning still.  The title of this post was given to me by Randy - of Timberline Trees.  He's a man who rides the wilderness country of UT often & until more recently - usually on his own.

We started out talking saddle trees, then the conversation moved to security in the saddle.  If you speak to anyone who's spent the hours & hours, miles & miles out Covering Country - they will all speak the same language - that of the importance of a secure seat in a saddle.  This type of rider isn't trying to cover 50-miles faster than an opponent - but they're out to cover usually many more miles - over many days & get to where they're going.
Duck's camp getting set up~
It makes no difference how great a rider you think you are - or how much experience you've had - when a horse wants to drop & spin - the momentum alone will usually be enough to put you on the ground.  If it doesn't - at least you're left off-balance & probably regaining a stirrup.  Randy has designed a tree with a secure seat - for his personal use.  When he rode it & his horse suddenly did just that trick, he found himself looking at the view of where he'd been!  This without having moved in the saddle at all!  Now - that's a secure seat!
Typical trail at the Bryce XP
I rode Bryce in my first Meridian Saddle - it was big, heavy & not set right for me...  But - it was "secure"!  As I've mentioned many times before, when you don't have the worry of coming off, when - not if - something unexpected happens - you then have the ability to control your horse & that allows you to control your ride!
Khari & Dakota - "love" :-)
That big Meridian saddle saved me, when we were traversing a steep, tiny, uphill trail cut into the side of a shale mountain.   There was a tree about 1/2 way up - when we got there - Khari started jumping, bucking & took us backward off that trail - she was being stung by bees!  We were sliding down fast - she was struggling to get enough purchase to get us back up onto that trail!  I just sat there - (My life flashing in front of my eyes...)  I wasn't in her way - I wasn't coming off & after what seemed like an eternity - she made one final, valiant effort & regained the trail!

Only one of several close-calls we had on that ride!  Peggy & I have lifelong memories to "enjoy".  Dakota has gone on to carry her over 4,000 miles & I've moved on too.  Not with Khari, not on those multi-days that I loved so much...  But - I'm enjoying the miles of fine country that I cover now on Farah!

When you're getting a little older, wiser & want to continue to ride for a long while - it's always best to err on the side of caution & do whatever works to keep doing what you love!   There are some beautiful saddles out here - regardless of what discipline they're designed for.  Security doesn't mean that you're locked into the seat.  (I like a slick seat - being able to adjust my seat for the terrain or speed...)   It's that magic combination of tree, rigging, seat & balance.  If you find yourself riding scared, or coming off too often - then take the time - to take a look at something that might work better!  It's always the journey~  

1 comment:

  1. Yes, "it is always the journey". I enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing. I just started my own post if you are interested in reading/following it (EasternSierraEnduranceRider.com. I have added your blog to my reading list.


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