I call my horse Lilly "Brumby" as a term of endearment. But I didn't make the word up! In Australia a wild horse is called a brumby or brumbie. The word derives from the name of a Major William Brumby, an early 19th century settler from England who was a noted breeder of horses. Through the years a large number of his stock escaped and became feral. Another possible origin of the word-Booramby, Aborigine for wild.
Now I am not one to tell anyone what they should and shouldn't do. So anyone reading this blog entry can take everything I'm about to say with a number of grains of salt. I was inspired to make my Ten Things post because this kind of article is always popping up in magazines:
Now I happen to have a weak spot for these types of magazines. However, let the horse show go on! Here are my top ten things every horsewoman (or horseman) should have.
1. A Good Western Saddle. I didn't say a fancy western saddle, and I didn't say an expensive western saddle. I just said a good one. I've said it before: I love a western saddle because with it you always know when things are going to hell in a hand basket you can hunker down and hang on. This saddle isn't heavy because it isn't all leather, and it fits my butt and my brumby. I also love the style and attitude that comes with western riding. Plus, you can hang things from it...like bear bells and pommel bags (seen here!). If you don't like my first Must-Have, read on.
2. A Good English Saddle. Again, not the priciest or the flashiest. Just one that fits you and your horse. This particular saddle is Christine's, and she has loved it for years. (It's actually a dressage saddle, I think). Although I like to joke that english saddles are rocket launchers (me being the rocket), I did learn to sit, trot and canter in an english saddle, and I believe the close contact it afforded me as a new rider made me a more-aware and balanced rider. Besides, if you ever get the hankering to set up some jumps, you won't want to be doing that in a western saddle. Ouch!
3. Spirit and tenacity. You must want to be on your brumby! You must have the desire to climb in the saddle even when you feel afraid, or cold, or like everyone else is a better rider than you. You must have the desire to climb in the saddle even though you know your horse is bigger and stronger than you will ever be. It's just a little seed in your heart that grows into a wild jungle, this spirit. It will take on a wonderful life of its own. But it all starts with you.
4. Time. Because the more time you can spend with your brumby, the happier your heart and soul will be. And because having a relationship with a horse is like every other relationship. It needs time and nourishment to grow and flourish. Luckily, somebody somewhere invented the weekend.
5. A Good Trail. The trail on horseback is the most magical place in the world.
6. A Good Pair of Boots. My husband keeps giving me riding boots. And they have been lifesavers. They are leather and rugged, waterproof, leakproof, stay in the stirrups, and are still comfortable even when I have to walk for a while. The only thing these particular boots are not, is warm in the winter. But then, I pull another pair of Good Boots out, and off I go. I'd be a wreck without good boots on my feet.
7. Excellent Trail Buddies. Sure I like to ride alone. But when my trail buddies come, it is extra nice. Out on the trail with someone else, you get to share all the natural marvels with someone, and provide companionship for your horse. Your trail buddy can help you out of a jam, or prevent you from getting into one. And, in most cases, if your trail partners are anything like mine, you are laughing almost every step of the way.
8. A Knife. Or a blade of some kind. A sharp knife can literally cut you or your horse free of the most diciest of situations. It needn't be large at all. This one fits in your pocket. And when you don't need it to save your life, you can use it to cut the twine off a nice, yummy bale of hay.
9. An Equine Library. Even a small library of books on horses is a must. Not only can you instruct yourself in all things horse, if your horse is having particular symptoms, you can prevent freaking out by going to a text by a person in the know.
10. A Camera!!! You need to record your horse moments just like you do your kid's childhood, or your own wedding. Bill and I are lost without having our cameras when we are with horses. Well, I think Bill has his camera whatever he is doing, but generally I just have mine when I am with Lilly. This picture is the camera I used to use on the trail, but for the last few years I have been using an Olympus Stylus Tough which is looking a little worse for wear. It says SHOCKPROOF on the front which is good because it has gone flying on more than one occasion. Plus, should I ever take my brumby snorkling or scuba diving, it works under water too. Thank you, Olympus, for making a camera so small and easy to use with the capacity to take some pretty darn good photos.
That all, folks!
Did I miss anything? What would go on your Top Ten list?
I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog! One day I hope to make it bigger and better! Click on the words "Older Posts" right above this note if you would like to see more entries about me and my brumby.