Friday, January 29, 2010

Stuck in the Saddle

I'm lucky to board Champ at a barn that has the most diverse but amazing boarders.  There is a special kin-ship amongst us.  We help and look out for each other and our horses.  We encourage each other. 

Yet we are very different in our disciplines of riding.  For instance, many of my barn pals are Dressage riders.  They are very neat and tidy.  Their tack is spotless, their personal attire is well kept and their horses are the same.  I've watched them ride and I equate their discipline to ballet, very beautiful and moving.  Maybe someday I can learn how to ride like that.

I'm currently a Western Pleasure/Trail rider.  My tack is kinda dusty.  I'm usually dressed in my Lady Wranglers and my University of Puget Sound sweatshirt, compliments of the school our daughter attends.  And my horse...well, thankfully he isn't light colored.

On a recent visit to the barn, I shared my reservation in riding Champ with one of my Dressage barn pals as I went to saddle him up.  Being a true buddy, she hopped right in to help me.

She (kindly) looked me up and down and told me I needed half-chaps.  She said I'd stay on better if I had some security in my legs.  She then produced a pair from her well organized tack box and told me to stick out my legs as she zipped them up over my jeans.  The soft leather felt lovely and my legs started feeling toasty warm.  Ummm, I could get used to that.

She then ran her hand over my new western saddle and pronounced the seat slippery.  She headed to the tack room and returned with a spray can.  She told me that the spray would make my saddle sticky.  She proceeded to liberally spray the seat and fenders of my saddle with this fluid, assuring me that there was no way that Champ would be able to toss me off.

I was so touched that she took the effort to make sure I'd have a good ride.  Off Champ and I went, me in my borrowed half-chaps and sticky saddle, to have our ride.

The first thing I found when I climbed on was that I was literally stuck in the saddle.  I realized that if anything did go wrong, I had no option to get off, I wasn't going anywhere.  The next thing I realized was that the half-chaps, for as warm and comfy as they were, felt like huge cotton wads against Champ's side.  My leg aids were muffled for a better word.

I took my ride on Champ and as I rode I started contemplating how in the world I was going to get off.  When the time came to dismount, I had a hard time swinging my leg over Champ's rear.  I then found myself literally stuck to the side of the saddle. 

I recall being on the side of the saddle, holding both of my arms out away from me and still sticking there.  Wow I thought, this is really free-form!  I recall Champ turning his head back to see what in the world was going on.  I finally released myself but almost took the saddle with me (sorry about that Champ)!

After Champ was back in his stall and the half-chaps were returned, my husband and I headed to the grocery store.  I climbed into our truck which has leather seats and found myself stuck to the seat. 

At the grocery store I wiggled and bumped to get out of the truck.  Walking through the store I could feel the legs of my jeans sticking to each other, not to mention cheeks (that are not on the face)! 

Yes, our barn has awesome boarders.  We help each other out and please don't think I'm not touched by my neighbor's generosity, because I am!  I loved wearing the half-chaps.  I eventually found my leg aids and my legs were warm and toasty.  I'm planning on getting a pair.

But as for the sticky spray, although I don't think I've ever ridden so securely, next time I think I'll pass.  :)

8 comments:

  1. I had totally forgotten about the sticky stuff I used to use! When I rode dressage I always used the spray. I also remember having some sort of goop that I'd put on the tops of my boots where they met the bottoms of my saddle flaps. I can't remember what it was called but it was nasty serious stuff. But my leg sure stayed where I put it!

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  2. Full length suede western chaps will help your stickability no end, without sticking you to anything else they may come into contact with. They will keep you nice and toasty too.

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  3. Yep half chaps are great! Think of it this way. You were thinking so much about those half chaps and the sticky spray that I bet you never even thought about falling off lol. :)

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  4. LOL you made me laugh about the sticky stuff LOL LOL I dont think I would like to be stuck in my western saddle, not being able to move makes for a sore butt too LOL

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  5. Well what is the sticky stuff called and where do I get it? Thanks Nancy
    P.S. I love reading about you as I'm going to be 55 this year.

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  6. That's pretty funny. What is that sticky stuff called? Sounds like the same stick-um beauty pageant contestants use to keep their gowns from having a "wardrobe malfunction"? And all this time I thought all those dressage riders just had really good seats.

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  7. Sounds like something I could benefit from so as not to go through what I did last year during my mare's 6-8 foot sideways teleportation. What is it called and where do I get it. I'd also love to have some poleys on my Amish saddle and then some full chaps. I always thought I might looks silly wearing full chaps...like a wannabe cowgirl, but if it keeps me from falling off all the time, I want some...now!

    lol!

    ~Lisa

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  8. Thanks for the great story. I'm 47 and recovering from a very painful fall off my quarter horse, Tucker. He spooked when a pigeon flew up noisily in front of him. He jumped about thwo feet to the right, resulting in me loosing my stirrup, and then took off at a fast canter while I was trying hard to regain my balance. I fell off sideways and ebded up being taken to the ER on a backboard. Now I have to find my composure again to ride, but find myself totally lacking the trust I need. I still have a lot of healing to do physically, but in the meantime I was looking for something to make my slippy saddle less slippy. I loved you blog and will bookmark it for later!
    Pamela

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