Bears Show How to Ride a Horse

Bears Show How to Ride a Horse


(lively instrumental music) – I’m Sue Webb, I instruct
most of the riding classes at Missouri State University. This is Meghan Mothershead. She’s a graduate student
in the equine program. Okay, first of all, a horse perceives his world a
little differently than we do. If you notice, he has really big eyes, and they’re set on the sides of his head, so he has a separate picture
on both sides of his head. The horse is naturally a flight animal. That’s how he has survived in the world. And so if something startles him, his first reaction is to leave. If he knows the rider well enough, most horses trust you not to
get them in a bad situation. If they don’t know you very well, they may be more reactive
than they normally would be. It’s important to groom
them where the saddle goes, which is basically here, and then where it’s secured
under the girth right here. She’s using what’s called
a rubber curry comb first. And basically that loosens
the dirt and the sweat. But again, it’s most important to get it where the saddle is going to go. The last thing they do, usually, is clean out the horse’s feet. And it’s important that they
don’t have rocks in their feet when you’re trying to ride them. It can cause a bruise on their foot. The saddle pad goes on
first, and it is placed in front of where you would
like to have it in the end, so that you can slide it in the direction of the horse’s hair. Okay, she approached the horse, you noticed, at his shoulder. That’s the safest place
for the handler to be. Some of the saddles weigh a lot, and they’re hard to get up there. And you may have to kinda throw it, but you wanna make sure that
the landing is relatively soft. Okay, she’s making sure
that the saddle is placed on the pad so that it
is even on both sides, and that there is saddle
pad in front of the saddle, behind the saddle and on both sides. What she’s pulling out now is the latigo, which is the strap that holds the girth, and then that secures
the saddle on the horse. She positions the bridle
with her right hand and then places the bridle in, then she’ll slide it over his
ear, his off side ear first, the off side is the far side and then slide it over
the near side second. That way it’ll stay secure. Okay, the first thing
she’s gonna show you is she’s going to check her stirrup length. What she’s doing is testing it against the length of your arm. And you can get a fairly
close estimate there about how long the stirrup is. Your arms, theoretically, and your legs are supposed to be about the same length. Notice she has her left hand on the reins. I’m holding the horse here,
but if she was getting on, she would have the control of
the horse with her left hand, her right hand is on the saddle horn or the front of the saddle somewhere. Basically, riding a horse is like standing with a 1,200-pound horse underneath you. So you put your feet wide
enough to support your weight, bend your knees and now I’m riding a
horse without the horse. So the ideal position is over
the horse’s center of balance. Your ear, shoulder, hip and
heel are basically in line. Then she will hold the reins so that her little finger
is closest to the bit, so that she can use her wrist and then, if that isn’t enough, she can use her arm. So she’s gonna ask him to move off, so she moves her hand forward
a little bit, opens the door, uses her leg or her voice
and asks him to move. Okay, when she goes to turn, the first thing she’s gonna do is look where she wants to go, then she’s gonna open the door on the side she’s going towards, so she’ll take a little
pressure off of that side. And then push with the other side allows him to go that direction. If she wants to go backwards, what she’ll do is shorten the reins, which says, “You’re not
going to go forward.” She’ll squeeze with her
legs to say, “move,” and then she’ll use her
hand to direct him backward. Now when she’s ready to stop, she’ll put her weight in her heels, sit down and say, “whoa.” (lively instrumental music)

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