What do you need to have for every ride?
Do you ever rummage through your gear bag like a ferret, breath a little labored, searching for your lucky socks? A little jiggy riding without them? Trying to reason yourself out of the visions of disaster looping in your head? If not, you can be excused from reading further or, you can stay and tsk at the rest of us.
I am an older, recreational rider. I just raised my medical deductable to $2500. I need all the juju I can get when I mount. Truth is, my superstitions started when I started to ride twenty years ago. My lucky socks are purple and pink. My red and black gloves are my go-to when I’m trying a new trail, horse or move in the arena. I have a “Horse Slut” necklace that my friend “empowered” for me, which I wear when I pull on those red and black riding gloves. Breeches – shirt – no cosmic power there — I wear what the weather dictates. Helmet. I must wear a helmet. I know my head will fall off if I don’t wear my helmet. Maybe that’s good sense rather than a superstition.
I follow a “pre-flight” checklist when I saddle. Sure as shootin’, I’ll do something really stupid or forget some little buckle if I jabber to my instructor while performing my saddling tasks. So now, I feel a lump of “jinxed” in my throat if I don’t follow my routine.
How about you – you hunters, jumpers, polo-ers, trail riders, fox-ers, dressagers, show riders and recreational equestrian pleasure seekers like me? Share your foibles. What talismans, incantations, routines are required before you approach your horse?