First Training Ride

An Entry from the Fabled Journeys of Team Fall Risk
First Training Ride
A four hour bus ride and we had been deposited in one of the most beautiful and remote-feeling locations I could have ever hoped for! We had arrived in start camp and after the ensuing distribution of tack, I realized that my bridal was insufficient as it was made with slick sailing rope and lacked a lead rein. Thank goodness for the ingenuity and charitable nature of my ger mates, comprised of Fall Risk part dos (Adam), Sam Jones, Bonnie McRae Hutton, Jade Sevelow-Lee, Chris Berkers, and myself we managed to wrap up the reins and re-tie the loose goat leather knots. As we all scrambled to make final adjustments to our gear before our first ride I opted to just leave my backpack behind and focus on enjoying our first ride on the great Mongolian horses id been itching to mount since I’d first heard of the derby a year and a half ago. I had been unable to sleep for three nights previous, I had prepared all year, I knew what these horses were capable of, I’d seen the videos of them ejecting riders in artful athletic bucks. Adam and I approached the horse line when our group was called to head out. “There,” I pointed him to a sleepy looking large Appaloosa that looked most capable of bearing his weight but not so capable of dislodging it. And for myself I chose the shortest distance to the ground. “To hell if I’ll get injured first ride out!” I thought.
A herder carefully saddled up my little buckskin stallion who let out only one lazy buck of protest and Adams horse chose to wheel excited circles; nothing we couldn’t handle… Then gesturing and smiling as the herder took my bridle from me. He shook his head and I smiled and agreed with his assessment. My lead-rein-less bridle was quickly affixed with a hefty goat hide length and I was set to go. We mounted and Adams horse was off- I “chued” off in pursuit, and was quickly having the time of my life. Half way into our short ride my witherless little stallion was shaking his head as my saddle rode up his neck. I took a deep breath, dismounted, re-adjusted, and re-mounted with no problem.
For the first time in three days I slept fine. (Vodka may have aided this…) I was going to finish the derby. I could feel it.

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