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#1 Sep 12, 2020 7:05 pm

New Historian

Learning to ride

I first learned to ride at my friend Barclay Chen's house in Jack's Hill, overlooking Kingston. There were two horses in the next door field, and Barclay got two bridles from somewhere and we figured we'd go riding. We didn't have any saddles, but that didn't bother us. There's something special about riding a horse bareback, especially when it's the first time you've ever gotten on one of the beasts. We'd go roaming in the hills, galloping whenever we could, man it was fantastic.

Next time I went riding was a couple years later, at the Univ of the West Indies campus at Mona. There were many ex-racehorses that people had bought, and let them loose in the open lands behind the campus. We got bridles from the stables and went to catch a couple of horses. Only problem: they didn't want to be caught. You'd hold out a handful of feed, keeping the bridle out of sight behind you, and once the horse is eating the feed, you slip the bridle over. Ex-racehorses know only two speeds: stop - gallop. And gallop we did: yeee-hah!!

Next time I went riding it was a different kettle of fish: with a saddle. You might think this would be an improvement, but there was one problem: I didn't know how to put one on. So I made the mistake of tying the saddle strap directly underneath, around the horse's belly, instead of cinching it tight, just behind it's forelegs. And off we rode.

It didn't take long for our horses to reach warp speed, and we were soon galloping behind the Taylor Hall student flats. It felt great, all the cliches: wind in my hair, at one with nature, you name it. Waving at people, hey, look at me!

BOOF! The belt on the saddle had worked loose, and in a heartbeat it gave way. The saddle, with me in it, immediately turned upside down, dumping me unceremoniously onto the hard ground. The only "good" thing about the fall was it all happened so fast, I didn't have time to react, and went rolling along the grass, I don't know how many times. Amazingly I was unhurt, and looked up to see my horse galloping off into the distance, the saddle dangling underneath its belly. When a horse is in a gallop, it doesn't stop! My friend rode up and I jumped on his horse, to go looking for my runaway.

I finally found him, about two miles away, gently munching on some grass, feeling quite pleased with himself.

Last edited by New Historian (Sep 12, 2020 8:17 pm)


#2 Sep 13, 2020 7:27 am


Re: Learning to ride

Me never ride no horse.  Ah use to ride donkeys. Ah mean ah was good at riding them.  One of me uncles had ah donkey called Blackjack.  That thing was bad as yars.  The only person who could ah ride that ASS, was me uncle.

Once we went camping in Sea Moon, doing the JEWEL work, and there were horses there. So we all say we go ride one ah them.  When the animal came close to me and ah see the size of that thing, ah say ent way ah getting on that thing back.  That thing was huge as compared to ah donkey.  If I am not mistaken, ah think the horse we tried to ride was Carlos.  Carlos was Grenada best race horse.  Ah think early that was all Grenadians use to talk about was Carlos.  That damn thing was more famous, than any politician in  Grenada at that time.


#3 Sep 13, 2020 1:14 pm


Re: Learning to ride

' New Historian , you have a 'tall tale' opponent . '

> " he tried to ride ' Carlos '
".. I am speechless ! '


#4 Sep 13, 2020 4:55 pm

New Historian

Re: Learning to ride

My Aussie mate Craig came back with a horseyory that makes mine pale by comparison lol!


Getting nowhere asking my parents for a motorbike ...I had two horses growing up in Australia first was a 12 yr old grey gelding 16 hands “Shannon” got him on my 13 birthday...I got the saddle on my14th birthday. Couldn’t tell you how many times I’d fallen off that year but by the time I had a saddle there was very little a horse could do to throw me.

Did a lot of gymkhanas , Barrel racing was my thing !
So on my 15th birthday I convinced my parents to get a 4 yr old palomino Arab stallion “Beau “
He was special-  always prancing about neck arched tail up chomping at the bit  for whatever you wanted to throw his way,

We were at a pony club event about to go in to a semifinal barrel race  when beau got the scent of a young filly on heat. 
Well the barrel race went out the window and he took off at a flat out gallop across the field to the mare two fences away, he approached the first fence a 5 foot wooden fence, he cleared that then there was a 6 foot barbed wire fence with star spikes, I bailed out on the approach to this, he caught  the top of that fence and one of the star spike posts tore a sizeable chunk from his belly but he was committed and didn’t take him 2 mins to be up to the back wheels in filly heaven. He did however feel a bit sorry for himself after being stitched up from his argument with the barb wire fence. 

But as a result 12 months later that mare produced a little colt. ? which gave me the excuse I needed to engage in my first date with Rhonda the daughter of the the owners of the mare.

Now I’m pretty sure I’d have never met Rhonda if I’d have got a motorbike.

Last edited by New Historian (Sep 13, 2020 4:55 pm)


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