Hobie cottons on, can buck bridle
You may not think so, but it's hard work for a horse without a bridle - just ask Hobie from Halcombe.
After less than five minutes without the directive mouthpiece in, he's sweating up a storm.
But rider Sarah Rolston has complete control over him, and without the need of her hands at all.
She directs him entirely through using body movements, her weight distribution and through some deep intrinsic bond the two share.
It takes years to build up to bridleless riding and that level of understanding, Mrs Rolston said.
"It's about trust between the rider and the horse - it's a real partnership."
The horsewoman and her faithful steed, whose show name is Buck Cotton, are preparing for their second appearance at New Zealand's national equine event, Equidays, at Mystery Creek, Hamilton, next week.
The duo have a lot on during the three days of horsing around, including riding in two night entertainment shows, giving clinics on the bio-mechanics between riders and horses, and as the sole North Island representative of the New Zealand Cowboy Challenge Association, they are doing demonstrations of Western performance riding. To top it off, Mrs Rolston and Hobie will be doing horse trick demonstrations in the Equidays kids zone, where the bridleless riding they were practising yesterday will be on show.
"He's going to be the busiest horse there, I think," Mrs Rolston said.
But the 12-year-old quarter horse doesn't seem to mind, for a generous grassy reward and a hearty pat, he's happy to help.
- © Fairfax NZ News
What would you like the weather to do in March?