I did it, I sat on my horse for the first time in I don't even know how long! We only walked a total of about 500 metres but it was nice all the same and I sat on him while he had his grazing time.
This experience highlighted some things very clearly. I am now a fraidy cat! I decided to ride bareback as I wanted to feel what his back was doing. If anything went wrong I wanted to pick up on it straight away and be able to get off without causing further damage. Last time I rode bareback I fell off. So the whole mounting and getting reacquainted process was rather nerve wracking for me. It felt truly horrible to be afraid of something that used to be second nature. I felt really out of place and it took a long time for me to relax properly and enjoy the experience fully. In fact I spent most of the gazing time with a tuft of mane clutched in my hand. I know, pathetic right!
Fox is an angel. As we have swapped out a lot of our walking time for eating time, I was a bit worried that Fox would be a bit feisty. He proved me completely wrong to my great relief. He ambled around the orchard like I had ridden him yesterday. He did have one mini spook when an apple fell off a tree :eyeroll: but that was when he was eating.
He is a very old 14 year old. The number of cricks and cracks coming from his body, mostly from his right hind somewhere was highly alarming. Its not something that you really hear when you are in the paddock with him or handgrazing. But when he is moving and you are right on top of the source of the noise it becomes very clear. I have had to drop his dose of glucosamine as I'm waiting for my new order to arrive. Maybe that has something to do with it. Made me pretty sad anyway.
I need a bareback pad. Even though I was only sitting on Fox for maybe 15 minutes, it was rather uncomfortable for me and if it was for me, then I imagine is was for him too. I have rather bony sit bones and I was very conscious of how they must be digging. A bareback pad will give us both a bit of padding without losing any feel.
But despite the negatives of this first ride, it really did make my day.