A few of my clients keep their horses out at their places, and I drive around periodically to ride their horses. Usually I’m able to make it out there when everyone is at work during the daytime, so consequently I’m locked out of the house. Now when you drink coffee all morning and ride horse after horse, you give up a bit of your dignity and go where you can, lest it be by accident in the saddle. The price of a quick ride doesn’t include a thorough saddle cleaning, so like many of my horse riding gal pals, I have no problem using a stall, horse trailer, or wooded area to “powder my nose.”
This particular day I’d just finished riding one horse and had caught the next when the urge struck me. These horses lived in a huge field and I’d walked clear down to the other end to catch him, so I wasn’t about to let him go, take care of business, and come back to see if he was still interested in a ride. The only place within non pants-wetting distance was the run in shed, so me and the gelding trucked our way over there. The shed was out in the open, facing a neighboring house’s front room window. I decided to use the gelding for cover, and squatted in the corner with him positioned right in front of me. The perplexed gelding stared me down, probably judging me and thinking about all the bad things he would say about me to his friend when he got done with me. I had just dropped trou’ and was mid-stream when the other horse went tearing past the shed down the hill. My training horse started to jig and dance, wanting to be with his friend. The lead rope was quickly coming tight in my hand.
I had to act quick, trying to do groundwork and pull my pants up at the same time, praying the neighbors didn’t see. I have to say I was pretty impressed with my little dance, left hand on my belt and right hand on the lead rope, tipping my horse’s nose in to untrack his hindquarters without even peeing on myself. On second thought, maybe the neighbors SHOULD be watching this, I thought. I may be a sorry hand at roping, but at least I was able to stop mid stream to pull my pants and get a hold of a fire breathing dragon, all without the slack coming out of the rope…loads of practice at this when my pants were securely fastened helped make this possible.
And that, my friends, is why connecting the feet to the lead rope is important…because you just never know when you’re gonna need that lead rope to mean something.