Oliver was weary from the long ride, but he was able to make the trip because he relied on posting as a way to smooth out the bouncing and jarring of being in a saddle for a long time. He would rise out of the saddle seat for every other stride of the horse’s forelegs, thus smoothing out the jolts that he would have encountered if he had just sat still for the journey. This made riding his horse much more comfortable, as he would squeeze his legs or give his horse a light kick with his heel to cue it to start trotting. Once his horse started trotting, he would rise up and move forward in the saddle simultaneously, and then he would return to the saddle softly when the horse brought its other leg forward. This worked out for Oliver, and it was also appreciated by his horse, because his weight was distributed more evenly which allowed his horse to maintain its balance better. It is always important for the rider to know which way their horse is going to move and how it will behave, so Oliver always tried to stay in tune with his horse.
Oliver was dead tired, but he understood that he would not be able to have control over his horse’s balance unless he had control over his own balance. He had the experience to see things from his horse’s perspective and he understood that their vision differs considerably from ours, as they have little to no depth perception. By recognizing the unique ways in which horses see and interpret the world, Oliver was able to develop a trusting relationship with his horse. All horses want to be mounted on their left side, as this is the way it has been done for centuries, so Oliver carried his rifle on his right, which kept it out of the way. Oliver was almost back home now, and he would be dismounting soon and then make sure that his horse was watered, fed and groomed, as this was a way for them to bond. He had ridden his horse hard to get home in time for his daughter’s birthday, but he was not going to put it away wet. The ride caused a lather of sweat to form on his horse, but he would never think about putting it into the stable without first drying it off.
Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge #432 hosted by weejars aka Sarah where today she is using a photo by Sarah Whiley.