Girls Horse Club Blog

Keep Those Hands Choked Up!

Published by • Jul 18th, 2011 • Category: Riding Advice

by MorganzMuzik, age 12

Keep those hands choked up on the reins!

That’s some good advice to follow. No, really. I can tell you. I’ve had a couple of, “ahem” incidents where I haven’t been paying attention to where my hands were. My mind starts to wander, as it always does when I’m riding. I start to imagine I’m flying through the clouds on a snow white Pegasus, no cares in the world…

And that’s when your horse decides he’s fed up with this whole thing and hightails his pretty little bottom out of there and back to the barn! Yep, I can tell you about that. In fact, I just might be an expert.

I hadn’t been riding long. I still haven’t been riding long. Sure, I went riding a couple times when I was younger, but I didn’t start real lessons until last winter. So, yeah, I’m a newbie. And boy, could you tell it that day…

On my second or third lesson, my friend and I had been riding in the outside round pen for about an hour with our instructor. My friend was content to keep doing laps around it, but I was starting to feel like a hamster on a wheel and ITCHING to get out of there!

All of a sudden, the owner of the place (who also teaches us some stuff) appeared on top of a horse and said, “You girls like to go on a trail ride?” I looked at my friend, she looked at me, and we both nodded our heads off. I was practically doing black flips in my saddle! He opened the door to the corral and we rode out.

Where I ride isn’t a stable — it’s my friend’s grandfather’s place. He owns acres of land with meadows and woods and about seven or eight horses, all Rocky Mountains. So it’s just me and my friend that ride there. We get personalized attention! Anyways…

So we rode all through his woods and everything was fine. My horse, Major, was being perfect. I was feeling pretty confident by the time we got back to the barn. “I can do anything with a horse!” I thought. Well, maybe I was a bit overconfident…

In the next day or so, we went back to the “barn” as we call his little setup. I was pumped. The owner had told his daughter that we could ride in one of his fields! I was excited beyond belief. All I had ever dreamed of was riding a horse at top speed through endless fields of green, faster than the wind itself. I was quickly brought down to earth, though, when my friend’s mom said, “You guys can only WALK the horses in the field, got it? NO GALLOPING. Do I make myself clear?”

I nodded, feeling a bit deflated. “Oh well, I’ve only been riding a few weeks. At least I’ll be out of the corral,” I thought.

The first time we rode in the field, it was great. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. The horses were behaving, and we had a very good time. So the next time we went to the barn, we went in the field again. Of course, since we had done such a good job the day before, our moms didn’t watch as closely. Maybe they should have.

I was dreaming again; Imagining I was far away from here, that instead of being a 16 hands high plain bay Rocky Mountain Horse, Major, was a snow white Pegasus, and we were flying through the clouds. My hands only held about four inches of the reins (NOT a good length, I know now you need about six or seven inches) and I was NOT paying attention. Apparently, Major took the relaxed reins as me saying “You can have your head” because suddenly he took off galloping!! It was my first time galloping, and for a fleeting second, I was in heaven. But then I remembered my friend’s mom’s words: “NO GALLOPING, do I make myself clear?” and I suddenly started freaking out. “Major, whoa. Ma-a-a-j-j-o-o-or-r! WHHHOA!” I was going up and down in the saddle, not having any control. I was franticly trying to choke up my hands on the reins, but I couldn’t or I knew I would fall. Those reins were the only thing keeping me on the poor horse!

Suddenly, Major swerved and took off down the trail that leads back to the barn. Both my friends and my mom were trying to get him to stop, but he was just too fast and he left them behind. We were by ourselves now, and I calmed down a bit. I actually started to enjoy myself again, but common sense overtook me. I wasn’t in control, but I needed to be. I contemplated just playing bail and jumping off, but I thought otherwise when I looked down and saw a blur of legs and hooves.

All of a sudden, Major stopped. I looked up and, to my surprise, we were back at the barn! He walked up to where we unsaddle the horses when we’re done and he stopped. I laughed. “You are so lazy!” I said, my voice shaking a bit.

The owner came over and smiled. “He run away with you?” I nodded, a bit ashamed. He’ll probably would never let me ride one of his horses again. He adjusted my stirrups. “You, uh, wanna keep riding?” he said, with a gleam in his eye.

“Yes!!” I said, exuberantly. He slapped Major’s side. “Well, don’t just sit there, go on!” he said, smiling. I turned Major away and we started up his long driveway. I think he knew all along that I would say yes.

Well, that was a few months ago and I have a little more experience. I always pay attention when I’m riding, and I ALWAYS, always keep my hands choked up on the reins.

Keep riding and writing!

11 Nickers »

  1. Welp look’s like they moved it from nonfiction to riding advice. Who cares, as long as its published!! This is my first ever. Thanks, GHC!! :D

  2. cool story!
    A horse ran away with me 2 one time!

  3. Yeah, I have to admit I actually enjoyed it for a minute :p Lolz Major is sweet but mischevous. I was brushing him the other day and he kept on trying to eat the brush!

    Silly Horsey. Lolz

  4. That’s so cute! It was also really well written.

    P.S. I’m a bit of a newbie, too.


  5. @HorsesForever
    Really? thats cool that I’m not the only person whose new :) How Long have you been riding?
    And, thanks! I like writing alot. I submited a poem, too, but that was like a week ago. Mabye they’re bogged down and have’nt gotten to it yet or mabye they aren’t gonna post it :( Mabye LeadMare will know.
    And Stay tuned because I think my next poem is ready. Mabye I’ll submit it later today.

    Keep Riding and Writing!

  6. Hey LeadMare, do you have any info about that poem I submited? It’s okay if ya’ll don’t post it, I am just VERY curious as to what happened with it as I submited it a week ago. If you know please tell me :)

  7. Sorry if I’m commenting too much, but I have one more question:

    To post pictures with your blog or poem, do you use just a regular html code, and just post it wherever you want it on the submission form? Because I have pictures that I’ve uploaded to that would be great for my next poem/blog. They have a ready made html code on there for each picture so do I just use that?

    Thanks So Much!!!


  8. MorganzMuzik, the Submission Guide addresses the question “Will I be notified if my submission is published?” along with other frequently asked questions that should help you understand our process. In addition, you can learn about how we select and pace GHC content by reading The Bigger Picture.

    Thanks for your interest in contributing to GHC!

  9. Okay thank you :) Could you tell me about the html in my previous comment if you know?

  10. If you want to include one or more images (created or photographed by you) with a blog submission you can include a link with your submission or use the Gallery Submission Form and just note in the “Image Title” field that it’s intended to accompany a blog submission.

  11. ok thanks! ive been gone a week but i’m back!!