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Posts tagged “the importance of tack checking

The importance of tack checks… learned the hard way!

I guess we’re all more than a little fed up with the rain and the Noah’s Arks jokes so a little bit of sunshine yesterday was a welcome relief and I remembered I promised you a ‘Laugh at Myself’ story from earlier in the spring when the sun was shining for a couple of days……..

The semi retired horse loves to feel spring sun on his back, I think it reminds him of getting ready for the event season despite being out of it for 5 years! Looking at the cheeky glint in his eye and feeling pretty good myself I grabbed an old pair of reins I’d found hanging up in the lorry when I was doing a bit of spring cleaning (well they’d already got rubber stops on for the martingale and I was in a bit of a hurry) and headed off to do a spot of canter work on the sand tracks on the common. Just for some fun and to blow the cobwebs away!

Oh what a laugh we had, ha ha! He was feeling very well and, I think you’ll find this is a completely acceptable technical description for what happened, he pissed off. Well, I’d half expected it, we’ve been together 12 years and know each other pretty well. So I stood up in the stirrups to do a sharp half halt with a bit of body weight behind it and found myself hanging on to just the one rein as the other had broken at the billet!

What fun… galloping with just the one rein! It was about now I remembered why the reins had been hanging up in the lorry in the first place! Anyway, I thought positively, how fit could a 19 year old semi retired horse be? I found out, he was feeling pretty fit, his adrenalin was up and he had no intention of slowing down!

We left the sand tracks at full gallop and headed up into the woods at some speed with me ducking branches and trees. ‘Woah’ and ‘steady’ seemed to have no effect. We came out of the woods, missed running over a dog and did a strong hand canter along the lane. My attempts at steadying were now becoming more urgent. I thought about jumping off but was worried I might lose him. Was it safer with him or without him? Fortunately he knew his highway code and stopped at the T Junction. I jumped off before he could look left and right and head off again! I tied the broken rein to the bit and headed home.

Fortunately neither of us were hurt. But the point of the story, check your tack and if there is something wrong with it fix it or throw it away, don’t store it just in case! The upside for me is I have now awarded myself some of our lovely ThinLine reins and am enjoying the very soft feel they give me. The boy is very pleased with himself too, particularly the attention his legs got post his work out!

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