I had all good intentions of hopping on Harley and wandering the pasture last night. Harley looked less than amused with my idea, and stood with a somber expression. Romeo, however, was "ears up", stood alert, and looked to me to be asking for the ride. Bareback pad, bit, and helmet, off we went.
I'm pretty sure we covered all the nooks and crannies of the newly mowed pasture. We found all the brush pushed around, and new clearings in places there hadn't been any. Some really neat trails meandering through the trees, all of which Mo was eager to explore. He hesitated twice. Once heading towards the fenceline where the kids were shooting (who can blame him there), and again outside of the brushy longside of the arena, where he usually hesitates from inside the arena fence. Mr J cut a path beside the arena, and now that should make riding inside the fence a bit less nervous... YaY! We also wandered down the road by CRNG's house, which Mo found super amusing with all the new going-ons over there. A very relaxing ride...
On to the Public Service Announcement for the month! CHECK YOUR TACK! CHECK YOUR GEAR! As it turns out, one of my good-for-nothing splats off of Harley about two months' ago had a bad result - cracked helmet. The inexpensive Tippery helmet I purchased about 5 months ago? Is no more. See, with all the extra ventholes, this also created a less than sturdy helmet (apparently). There was a crack all the way through one of the helmet parts across the top. :-( Lovely..
Now, I'm in a ridiculously inexpensive (and slightly uncomfortable) Troxel Spirit. It will work for now, and it's a delightful periwinkle blue (only because they didn't have purple or white). I am disappointed the Tippery didn't last longer, for certain.
Check your gear, fellow riders. This means look at the saddle before you toss it on the horse. Check the bit and bridle before asking your horse to wear it. Look over your gloves - make sure they aren't falling apart. And look the helmet over thoroughly before snapping the chin strap. If you're not riding with a helmet, consider the risk ... Do you really think it's fair to ask your family to care for you as a vegetable in a hospital bed after a traumatic brain injury? Don't just say, "I accept the risk." Discuss it with your loved ones, make sure they accept that risk too.