Sunday, September 19, 2010

How Low Can You Go?

Sunday September 19 2010

Depends on if you're marking trail with ribbons before an endurance ride, or if you're pulling ribbons after an endurance ride.

If you're pulling ribbons after a ride, it's easier. As you lean way down off the side of your horse, you just have to get two fingers on a ribbon to be able to yank it off the branch. You can hang onto your horse with your other hand, so you can lean a long way down.

(Connie actually fell off here : )

If you're marking trail, it becomes a little more challenging. Unless you are gifted with the talent of tying a ribbon with one hand (I am not), you've got to use 2 hands to do it. And if the bush is short, you have to lean way over your horse to one side, with both hands. Nothing to hold onto, all your weight in the one stirrup, and a lot of balance, and a horse who stands still and braces himself against the weight shift.

Here Carol ties a ribbon on a Granny Bush on her Granny Horse (tall bush, short horse.)

They said I was the youngster of the group and I had longer arms so I had to do the shorter bushes. Jose was good about me leaning way over.

Karen Bumgarner photo

Can your horses do this - stand still while you pull or hang ribbons, lean way over in the saddle? It's great training.

(And that's all the trail marking I get to do for the 5-day Owyhee Canyonlands endurance ride on September 28 to October 2. I'm off to Kentucky to cover the World Endurance Championship at the World Equestrian Games.)


  1. let me go to the wegs and u can continue to mark trail :p

  2. Hi Merri!

    Nice article. When we were in the UK I used to pull ribbons on my excellent horse Boris. The problem was, for the next two or three competitions, he'd stop dead every time we got to a ribbon...

    xx richard

  3. Hmm, I'm bringing along a 13hh mare at the moment...she'll be the trail marking QUEEN! :D

  4. Merri buen viaje, y ya nos tendras bien informado de todo lo que ocurra, ayer en las 4 horas de Pineda estuve con Paco Requena que tambien sale para los Juegos acompañando a Fuego, el caballos de Doma de Cardenas.
    Referente a las cintas,¿No es más facil bajarse del caballo, en un momento y luego volver a montar?, asi se evitarian accidentes.
    Saludos de Gabriel y BUEN VIAJE.

  5. Uhnm....I would need a much shorter horse. My middle guy is nearly 17.h and even my "little guy" at 15.3 would be a bit tall for me to do that kind of marking. ...Around here we have lots of tall trees. *G*

    Someone mentioned using clip clothespins with the ribbons already attached. If they'd hold that might be easier than tying.

  6. Makes you long for long gorilla arms - that was my nickname in high school, but when I started fencing, no one was laughing.

    Course you could ride barefoot and pull them up with your toes. Tieing would be quite the trick! lol

    Have fun at WEG!

  7. That's a long way to lean. I think my horse would stand still, but I might end up on my head!