Thursday, 12 May 2011

No-one said "Don't try this at home..."

I cannot tell a lie - I've accepted a dare from Braithwaite.

In my defence, we were on our way back from Poland in March and we were waiting at the airport - we both have a low boredom threshold; its got us into trouble before.
So, she was telling me about someone riding their horse without a bridle, and I said, well that's not too difficult, so she said - no, properly, at a fun ride, and I said, I bet I could do that, and she said, out hunting? and I said, is it a dare?

So there's the challenge - I have to try and go hunting with no bridle - admittedly I've done that before, and quite enjoyed it, but I don't think this time I'm allowed to wait till my bridle breaks.

Its only a matter of weeks till hunting starts again (yes, really, this is Exmoor...!) and I decided we should get some practice in.  My ever patient steed and I therefore discarded some equipment and gave it a go....

Here we go...! from Nic Barker on Vimeo.

Steering is a bit notional at the moment, but I am sure we will improve...Well, I hope we will - next stop - out and about round the farm...


jenj said...

Ok, I've ridden without a bridle before - in an ARENA. But hunting? Eeek!

Kate said...

Wow Nic that's fab,Felix is such a great horse! Pat Parelli would be impressed! I've ridden Harvey bridleless in the school under instruction(see my facebook profile pic) but to do it outside an enclosed arena,let alone hunting,I think I'd pass! Here's a tip if your having trouble steering (from the amazing lesson that I had),assuming Felix isn't head shy of a whip. Focus is the most important part so look where you want to go aiming your eyes, belly button & legs in that direction. If you carry a whip like a polo stick resting on your shoulder & he doesn't respond to those phases bring it out slowly towards his neck & nose to steer & quit the stick as soon as he responds.... so for example if you want to circle on the right rein, rest the whip on your left shoulder, start by focusing at an imaginary pole in the centre of your circle, move your eyes, belly button & legs in that order & if no response bring the whip out to the left (as if your sticking your arm out to indicate) & slowly circle it towards his neck & nose to steer & quit when he responds.
Good luck.

Nic Barker said...

Thanks Kate :-) We will be VERY SLOWLY working up to hunting ;-) I am trying it out and about at the moment but because I am leading another horse have got a bridle on just in case!

Jen (and Kate!) - I may well have bitten off more than I can chew but I can't resist a challenge ;-)