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From Superstitions to Keeping Clean

From Superstitions to Keeping Clean

Editor’s Note: Heels Down Mag asked riders to tell us what three things they think everyone should do every ride. Our editorial team selected five finalists’ essays, which are being published this month. One winner will receive an EIS COOL shirt  ($92 value).

By Rita Kendall

I’ve probably ridden over a hundred horses in my life, but there are three things I do every ride, whether I’m bopping around on my warmblood or riding my friend’s quarter horse in a western saddle.

Superstitions are real

As the saying goes, “I’m not superstitious, but I’m a little ‘stitious.” I make it a habit to put on my left boot before every ride, then my right. I can’t remember when I started doing this, but I can tell you that the times I put my right boot on first I ended up with arena dirt down my pants. Now I know that putting on my left boot has nothing to do with how I ride, but somehow telling myself that I now have good luck helps psych me up for a great ride. My left boot might be someone else’s mismatched socks or clover
charm. On days when it feels like nothing else is going right, I can count on one thing to give me good luck.

See Also

Drop those stirrups

No stirrups aren’t just limited to November, and let me tell you, my lower leg is solid as a rock. Sure, no stirrups aren’t exactly my idea of fun, but if it makes me a better, stronger rider, sign me up. No stirrups are probably one of the most effective exercises you can do, and by dropping my stirrups for 10 minutes a day (or more!) is an easy and effective way to become a better rider.

Squeaky Clean

Let’s be real, being an equestrian is heckin’ expensive. My friends have often bemoaned paying $100 for their hobbies, and I just laugh and laugh (and maybe cry.) Let’s be real, I spent about $5,000 on my tack and equipment. As a six-year-old pony kid, I didn’t understand why my trainer was so strict about cleaning my tack after every ride, but now I appreciate it and still clean my tack diligently every day. My tack always looks fabulous and is in great condition.

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