We’ve all seen the horse for sale adds with a person standing on their horses back to prove that the horse is ‘broke’.
We’ve all rolled our eyes a little because while it shows the person is braver than I am at least, with better balance, it doesn’t show much about their training.
This is not that. Not anything to do with it.
My daughter does have a goal of being able to stand on a horses back. I support her in that because I can see quite a few benefits. None of which are to help in selling the horse 😉
Both children do gymnastics, because they enjoy and are good at it and because I like a sport that can add so much to their riding abilities.
Vaulting is a wonderful sport that I would love for them to be able to do. If there were anything closer to us. There are a couple drawbacks to living in the middle of nowhere. There are probably some resources available online. There are for everything else, I need to remember to look.
This is our improvised version.
Rusty volunteered to sidepass over the top of a small round bale. Just the perfect height. Getting on and off has been a hard part of riding for both children. It’s a long ways up and down. Having a bale to cut the height in half helped a lot. They were soon hopping off and on, spinning circles, even standing on his back. No pictures of that, I was too busy holding on tight, there were no hands left for a camera.
As they get better and more comfortable we will switch to jumping off the side without a bale to shorten the distance to the ground.
Is it dangerous? Maybe. Life is dangerous. Every precaution has been taken and my faith in the horse is complete.
Instead I think it adds considerable safety to their riding. Knowing how to get off safely is one of the most important things you can do. Being comfortable on a horses back and being able to stay on in many different positions is a close second. Being comfortable on a horses back, not tight with fear, instead loose and moving with the horse, is something we work hard to learn.
The change in both of them with only a weekends worth of practicing their gymnastics on Rusty’s back is amazing.
For his part, Rusty isn’t thrilled I admit. He is willing though, as long as I provide treats. If I slow down on the treats he takes a step away from the bale. When lead to the bale he steps right into position and asks for his reward. I don’t think we are bothering him too badly.
As long as everyone is loving it we are going to keep practicing this.