Horse riding circles around barrels on grass field.

Ridin’ Circles

It was Central Texas in 1960, I was riding the third ride on a young colt, ‘round and around I went.  When I looked up, the old man was shaking his head.

“What in tarnation do you call that?”

“Ridin’ circles like you said.” I replied

“That ain’t no kinda circle!  You been makin’ eggs, triangles, and boats, but you ain’t made no circle ‘til yet!  Kid, the only way you could be dumber is to be bigger!”

I sat on the colt, utterly crushed.

“When I said the geometry of a horse is a circle, I meant a round circle.  he’s got to learn to bend around your leg.  Now, stare at that there cow patty, and keep him exactly Ten feet from it as you go around it.  If he drifts out, use your inside rein to pull him in, and if he drifts in bump him out with your inside leg.”

It was pretty raggedy at first, but I soon learned that the colt would lean in or out at the same place on the circle, so i could anticipate him and start fixing him up before he got too far wrong.  

“Now, that’s what I call a circle!” he grinned, “and you are training him!!”

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