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Discussing: Riding questions

Riding questions

Two quick (I hope) questions - 1. In terms of preparing to ride - do you check the saddle to assure the fit of the cinch - is that an accurate way to describe the procedure? And is it cinch or girth? I've seen both used... 2. At what do you think a boy would be allowed to ride free of the lead rope for the first time, under the supervision of adults and assuming he'd been trained for it, according to the customs of Rohan? Is six years old too young, assuming the boy was good at riding? RAKSHA THE DEMON, who until recently didn't know what a cinch was and now does, thanx to the learned ladies of HASA (via Beta comments)

 

 

Re: Riding questions

1. In terms of preparing to ride - do you check the saddle to assure the fit of the cinch - is that an accurate way to describe the procedure? And is it cinch or girth? I've seen both used... 'Cinch' as a noun is another name for the strap that holds the saddle on. But 'cinch' is also a verb. v. cinched, cinch·ing, cinch·es v. tr. 1. To put a saddle girth on. So you could say he 'cinched the girth' and be correct. If the girth is already around the horse and your character is checking the tightness of the strap, I'd say he was 'checking the girth'. 2. At what do you think a boy would be allowed to ride free of the lead rope for the first time, under the supervision of adults and assuming he'd been trained for it, according to the customs of Rohan? Is six years old too young, assuming the boy was good at riding? My youngest daughter started riding lessons at six and half, and she was expected to walk, trot and canter, controlling the horse herself, in a riding arena but with no lead rope. I'd say six would be reasonable. Gwynnyd

 

 

Re: Riding questions

Here is another perspective for you to consider. I grew up on a small working cattle ranch in Montana and my adventures were many . I got my first horse for my 4th birthday but didn't get to use a saddle until I was 11 years old and since I am almost 51 years old now ... let's just say that I have been riding for awhile. Since I do have a certain measure of experience in this matter, I will pass along what I know. (In terms of preparing to ride - do you check the saddle to assure the fit of the cinch - is that an accurate way to describe the procedure? And is it cinch or girth?) While it is technically correct to use either the word cinch or girth, most western riders will use the term "cinch" or "saddle cinch." Some riders will call the wide, almost woven looking thing with a ring at either end, the girth strap or belly band. This belly band has to fit the horse or your horse will end up having problems with soreness and rubbing on his belly. These same riders, of which I am one, would call the leather strap attached to the other side of the saddle and which is woven through the "near" ring attaching it to the left side or "Near" side of the saddle, the "cinch strap." I hope I didn't confuse you. Before you saddle your horse, it is "ever so important" to check the girth strap/belly band to make sure it is not worn or frayed as this can pose an extremely bad safety issue should the thing part company with the saddle while running full out or in some cases, even when standing still. Either way ... much pain involved when you hit the ground. Also, after you have saddled your horse, try and slip your hand between the cinch (leather part) and the horse's body also known as the "barrel." If you can fit your hand in that space the cinch is too loose. Walk your horse for a couple of minutes after you saddle him then use this same test. Many horses will "suck air" while you are saddling them and once you climb aboard will let that air out and hence the loose cinch. **** As to your second question: 2. At what do you think a boy would be allowed to ride free of the lead rope for the first time, under the supervision of adults and assuming he'd been trained for it, according to the customs of Rohan? Is six years old too young, assuming the boy was good at riding? Every parent has their preferences when it comes to their children riding "free" for the first time. My parents took me "horse shopping" and put me on the top of a horse and since I was a natural rider, I took right off the first time. Normally, if the child is confident and responsible for their age and the personality of the horse fits the age and experience of the child then there should be no problem starting your child riding at a young age. I am sure that I gave my parents their first grey hairs with some of the stunts I pulled. My family had two rules besides the ones pertaining to caring for the horse before and after riding. The first rule was that if I wanted to go riding by myself, I had to get on the horse myself ... whether it was by climbing a rock or a fence. The second rule was that if I was going to use a saddle, I had to saddle the horse myself. When I first used a saddle, it was an Association Saddle that weighed 35 pounds ... I weighed 85 pounds. I did it though ... and loved it. Hope this helped. Alariel

 

 

Re: Riding questions

Thanx, ladies, for both your helpful and lengthy replies! I wonder if I should consider taking up riding again, after more than 30 years, to improve my fanfic! I would have to lose some weight first, though... Sorry to be obsessive about this, but I'm still a bit confused. Would the following, which is an exerpt from a sentence in a mega-drabble I did, be considered accurate, or would you, as riders, think that the terminology was incorrect? The sentence refers to Elboron, Eowyn and Faramir's child, and the POV is Eowyn's: he is sitting up very proudly in the saddle that she had checked three times to assure the fit of the cinch Would an experienced horsewoman such as Eowyn refer to the cinch, or girth, as part of the saddle as I have her do in this sentence? It's a drabble, so I didn't want to spend too many words but I wanted to indicate her anxiety - normally, she'd only check once...I know it's one sentance, but I'm a stickler for credibility whenever possible... RAKSHA

 

 

Re: Riding questions

Should that be "..that she has checked", if he "is" sitting in the saddle? Verb attack - sorry. I think either would be ok, but I'm willing to be overridden by people who had actually been around riders more recently that I have. It has been a while....

 

 

Re: Riding questions

(I wonder if I should consider taking up riding again, after more than 30 years, to improve my fanfic! I would have to lose some weight first, though...) Actually, the weight isn't a problem ... the horse will survive! LOL! The problem is with muscles that haven't been used in ... ahem ... a day or two! Even when I was riding a lot ... OMG ... the butt and the knees really suffered. Of course if the butt suffers then you aren't sitting with the correct posture. If you want to ride ... go for it! It will do you good and you might just discover a wonderful, and palatable, form of exercise! (he is sitting up very proudly in the saddle that she had checked three times to assure the fit of the cinch) Now this is just my opinion, but you seem to have two separate ideas in the same sentence. "He is sitting up very proudly in the saddle." And, "She had checked three times to assure the fit of the cinch." If the little guy is proud of himself and is showing it by his "attitude" aka "posture" in the saddle, don't detract from that with another idea. Let the little feller have his moment in the spotlight. Now, being a western rider, I would have said, "She had checked the cinch three times to make sure that it was tight enough." ... or something to that effect. As far as showing Eowyn's concern, consider something to this effect: "Ever the anxious mother, Eowyn had checked the cinch three times to make sure it was tight enough and therefore safe enough for her baby." I'll be checking in from time to time so ... if I can help anymore just let me know.

 

 

Re: Riding questions

I'd also say tightness of the girth. In the world of English riding, that's what we call the thing holding the saddle on the horse is a girth. And you would be checking for tightness more than fit so it continues to hold the saddle on the horse.

 

 

Re: Riding questions

I agree. I believe cinch is a term used with Western riding, and girth is the English term. As far as riding as a child goes, riding at six is all dependent on how much training there's been. I'd probably say it's fine. My sisters rode pretty young and they were fine--and they didn't even ride every day. eh. At anyrate, I think both are entirely up to your preference.

 

 

Re: Riding questions


Thanx much for your excellent suggestions! I posted the story a few months back (forgot to tell y'all I guess...thought I had) and went with the line:

Her baby looks so small on the pony’s back, although he is sitting up very proudly in the saddle that she had checked three times to assure the fit of the cinch.

I do have a horse-breeding question, if anyone is cognizant (spelling?) of foaling -

when a foal is born, if all is proceding normally, do the humans stay back and observe between the time the foal emerges and the time it stands up and goes to nurse, or do they help the mare and foal by any rubbing down, giving the mare water, petting and encouraging the mare, or other supportive procedures? I had the impression that one is supposed to hang back at least until the foal is nursing. The scene I'm envisioning occurs in a stable, after a foal has born and before it gets up and takes that first meal (from what I've seen on websites, that can take at least a few minutes).

Sigh. I don't know 'nuthin' 'bout birthing no foals. Puppies yes, and that's a different ballgame.

The piece I'm working on would work better if the humans just watched - would that be credible. It involves an older Eowyn, so we're assuming maximum horse-knowledge.




RAKSHA

 

 

Re: Riding questions

The piece I'm working on would work better if the humans just watched - would that be credible. It involves an older Eowyn, so we're assuming maximum horse-knowledge.

According to this article Intensive, Early Handling of Neonatal Foals: Mare-Foal Interactions the modern jury is still out on whether or not a vigorous 'imprinting onto humans' routine at the foal's birth is 'a good thing' or not.

In general, standing back and watching until the foal has nursed is still the common practice. The article says, "Thus far, concerns that intrusion by human handlers during the immediate post-partum period may affect the ability of the mare and foal to bond properly, or instigate rejection by the mare, have not been clearly borne out. In a survey of foal rejection rates in a domestic horse population, the presence or number of human observers at the time of delivery did not seem to be associated with rejection (Juarbe-Diaz et al, 1998; Houpt, 2000) and mares facing extreme human intervention when a critically ill foal is born in or treated at a neonatal intensive care facility usually continue to pay attention to the foal and do not resist later nursing efforts by the foal (Pamela Wilkins, personal communication, 2001).However, anecdotal reports by veterinary practitioners still suggest that excessive human intervention can be associated with undesirable behaviors in the mare such as excessive protectiveness or some degree of foal rejection."

Apparently, if some intervention is called for in your story, feel free, otherwise, Éowyn can stand clear and watch with a good conscience.

Gwynnyd

 

 

Re: Riding questions


Thanx much, Gwynnyd! I've bookmarked the link.

Now I can have Eowyn & co. watch the foal with a clear conscience knowing I'm not presenting inaccurate behavior....



RAKSHA

 

 

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