We followed our favorite storyteller into the clubhouse. This was an old broken-down building with a table and chairs that had been new in the last millennium. The room was about forty by forty feet in size. We gathered and sat on the old chairs and a few of us on wooden boxes. He sat down and began to tell us another interesting Non Fiction Horse Story
When we had a quiet day at the livery stable, he would talk to us about all his experiences with horses. He told about different ones he owned and rode in the past. Today he remembered Patch, his very first horse.
Patch was bought for him by his parents. They bought him when he was green-broke. This simply meant that he was ready for George to train him for riding. Well he began to work him out on the longe line every afternoon. This is a long line made of leather or webbing with a snap at the end. This snap is attached to the horses halter which has a metal ring on it for that purpose.
During the training session, the trainer stands in the center and has the horse circle around him. The goal is to have the horse respond to the voice commands of the trainer. The ideal distance between horse and trainer is about twenty feet. The word longe rhymes with grunge. It is sometimes spelled lunge.
Anyways, George worked with Patch almost every day until they grew accustomed to each other. Establishing trust before mounting the horse is important. After trust was established, George began to lay a blanket on the horse's back every other day to get him used to the feeling of weight on his back.
Then he began to place the bit in his mouth. He alternated between working him on the longe line and putting in the bit and walking him around the ring. The bit is a part of the bridle and the reins are attached to that. The reins will be used to direct the animal to start, stop and turn. The body weight of the rider can be shifted from side to side to signal the turns as well.
When Patch seemed ready, George began to introduce the saddle. First he would saddle him and then walk him around with it securely on his back. You always approach a horse on the left side and mount from the left side. The day came when he was ready to try mounting Patch. He took him in the ring, a fenced area for riding lessons and training sessions.
His family and friends stood around outside the fence, quietly watching. This was a crucial day in the training of Patch. He saddled up and walked the horse around the ring a few times. He spoke to him in a gentle voice. He then put the reins over his neck and lifted his boot to the stirrup. Patch turned his head around as if to say, "What are you doing?"
George lifted his weight up to get in the saddle. That made Patch even more curious. He turned to look at what this new phenomenon was. When he turned, he kept right on turning as if he were a puppy chasing its tail. The spectators laughed out loud and it seemed to startle him. He quickly bolted and threw George into the dust on the ground. Then he walked over to the fence and waited for George.
Laughter broke out in the clubhouse as we tried to imagine George, this excellent horseman, sitting in the dust. He smiled at us and said nobody started out as an expert, not even him. We all chatted as we left the clubhouse. Our non fiction horse story was over for the day.
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