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George Washington's horsemanship

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nr

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I've been reading a really wonderfully interesting book Washington's Crossing by David Hackett Fischer in which he describes what a great horseman General Washington was, the fact that he'd been born quite sickly and to strengthen himself he walked 3 miles a day and rode horses incessantly. He was quite impressive on horseback and sat "quiet"
with his muscular legs extended on long lrathers and toes pointed down. One observer said he and his horse moved fluently and was the most graceful a man could be on horseback.
On the stormy icy night he had his troops cross the Delaware River to attack the Hessians they then had to struggle with artilllary down steep iced slopes and the book says:
"Washington rode up and down the column urging his men forward. Suddenly the general's horse slipped and started to fall on a steep and icy slope. "While passing a slanting slippery bank," Lieutenant Bostwick remembered, "his excellency's horse's hind feet both slipped from under him." The animal began to go down. Elisha Bostwick watched in fascination as Washington locked his fingers in the animal's mane and hauled up its heavy head by brute force. He shifted its balance backward just enough to allow the horse to regain its footing on the treacherous road. Bostwick wrote that the general "seized his horses mane and the horse recovered." It was an extraordinary feat of strength, skill and timing and another reason why his soldiers stood in awe of this man.

If you want to mentally cool off this summer, try this book about the freezing our soldiers went through in 1776.
 

Faster horses

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I felt kinda bad after I posted something negative about nr's book recommendation. I didn't mean it against the book at all, but perhaps the writer knew how revered George Washington was; but didn't really understand horsemanship. Anyway, it really doesn't matter as far as the book goes.

However, I was glad for jersy lily's post so I know I wasn't the only one that picked up on the toes down bit. :?
 

nr

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I didn't quote that whole page (but should have knowing this would be read by uhoh REAL RIDERS :wink: hahaha which I'm not- riding lessons were way out of my family's budget. The author actually said something like Washington rode in the old way with toes pointed down. Forgive me for not writing "in the old way". I suppose if the leathers (which I mispelled) were really long he'd have to point his toes down to reach? Would he have had a better grip on the horse's body that way? Maybe the riding boots were different back then?? It didn't say what type saddle. It did say he went on fox hunts as often as possible sometimes 3 times a week! And of course during the French and Indian War he was riding through rough wilderness when he wasn't on foot with the men and had his horse shot out from under him twice.
The author was very thorough in documenting his writing- this book has about a 180 pages of references alone (old maps, old Hessian and American soldier diaries etc! A really good read.)
 

OldDog/NewTricks

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Ok "nr" you gota know when to stop diggin'
REAL RIDERS :wink: hahaha which I'm not-
who-of -guessed :?:

Forgive me for not writing "in the old way"
That maybe why there were not many Old Rider in those days - they may have been drug-to death at a young age :!:

It didn't say what type saddle.
Yes you did :!:
I suppose if the leathers (which I mispelled) were really long

Leather's tends to say it was an English Type Saddle (Not Western)

"nr" There's more but I think I'll Stop Digin'

Hope You now We're just funning you and you Green-hornness we all had to go through it at sometime or …

Aw Some Beach - - (Not Nice) that's funny :!:
I'm told it's good medican to laugh - - Thanks for my daily meds. - - "Dr. nr"
 

nr

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OldDog/NewTricks said:
Ok "nr" you gota know when to stop diggin'
REAL RIDERS :wink: hahaha which I'm not-
who-of -guessed :?:

Forgive me for not writing "in the old way"
That maybe why there were not many Old Rider in those days - they may have been drug-to death at a young age :!:

It didn't say what type saddle.
Yes you did :!:
I suppose if the leathers (which I mispelled) were really long

Leather's tends to say it was an English Type Saddle (Not Western)

"nr" There's more but I think I'll Stop Digin'

Hope You now We're just funning you and you Green-hornness we all had to go through it at sometime or …

Aw Some Beach - - (Not Nice) that's funny :!:
I'm told it's good medican to laugh - - Thanks for my daily meds. - - "Dr. nr"

Glad I gave you a good laugh. :D I knew I was treading into a very LARGE mine-field! :D Dabbling in the rediculous all my life, this is nothing new and doesn't bother me one bit.
Probably at the Ranchersnet get-together they'll find a few other areas that need straightening out.
Will you be able to free yourself from your California Sushi Bar and join us on Sep 1 in SD?
 

OldDog/NewTricks

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About that time V¬ will be heading back to College - - I may be able to go with out a sushi fix but I'd have to leave now - - and my horse, - - my Horse would kill me one or two days out - she'd take one looks at the Sierras and say
"You want me to What :!:
- Are You Somekinda Nut :?: -
- Leave California for Where :?:
- Think bout it - it's warmer in Alaska :!:
- And and them (not Nice) Indians :!:
- Do You Know What They Did to Custer :?:
- Your Tring to Kill Me Off Just So You Can Ride That Young Peroxide Palomino I Saw Giving You The Eye At The Rodeo"
- As Soon As She Gets Your Saddle…
- I Know I'm From Idho but I've seen Tha Light
- I'm saving my Hay for a BooB Job -
- I Can Be a California Horse :!: -
- "(not Nice)" I'm a California Horse :!:
>
>
>
Blame the Horse Not Me :roll:
 

katrina

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Speaking of horsemanship......Is anyone watching Cowboy U on CMT?
For being a cowboy Rocco has very poor horsemanship skills. Did anyone see him jerk the paint's head around?????? I was agast!!!!!!!!! Now little judd did well............
 

V_Key

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NO! I quite watching CowBoy U long ago. To Dudieeee.

Cowboy Programs on TV got on the "Slippery Slope" that started in the 60's with "Stony Burk" played by that EGO Trip from Hawaii 5-0 - - "O" Yes - Jack Lord - - Remember that "Dude" - - wore his Spurs Every Where - - Told eveyone he was the NEW John Wayne - - all real Cowboys Laughed - - before SB only DUDES wore their Spurs to Town - - I still laugh when I see that - -

The good part was Warren Oats - - he just died a couple months ago.

I had (2) 1/4 Horse foals that year-
War-On-Oats
and
Hell-On-Oats
 

Faster horses

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Our 11-year old grandson is here staying with us and he dislikes Cowboy U as much as we do.

Hard to understand that something that STUPID is still on the air.

I detest what they do to the horses. In fact, I detest the whole thing. :mad: :evil: :twisted: :!:
 

Jeannie

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Faster horses said:
Our 11-year old grandson is here staying with us and he dislikes Cowboy U as much as we do.

Hard to understand that something that STUPID is still on the air.

I detest what they do to the horses. In fact, I detest the whole thing. :mad: :evil: :twisted: :!:


I'm so glad that I'm not the only one that detests that show. The first season was rather entertaining, then it went straight down the toilet.....FAST!!! :roll:

P.S. I also picked up on the 'toes pointed down'.
 

nr

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I found a picture or statue of George with his toes NOT pointed up.
But it was done in the 1800's so I guess the fashion of horsemanship had changed by then.
 

Faster horses

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nr, please don't worry about GW's toes any longer!

I think the reason that 'heels down' has become the proper way to ride is due to the fact of what happens to the calves of your legs when the heels are down vs. toes down. We have learned that putting your heels down takes the calf of your leg away from your horse. This is especially important when you give 'leg cues' to your horse. When the toes are down, the calves of your legs are 'into' your horse more. When that happens, he becomes 'dead sided', more or less, and/or might tend to be 'on the muscle' if he is that kind of horse. (GW may have even wanted his horse to be 'on the muscle' a bit!)

And, as with anything, moderation is the key. Many, many ranchers that ride a lot, ride with their feet more or less flat. I watch the people that break horses and ride with ox-bow stirrups. Their feet almost 'clutch' the stirrup with the arch of their foot and they ride with their foot pretty flat. High in the arch, but pretty even from heel to toe.

This 'heels down' thing probably didn't mean a hill of beans to GW~and has been learned in later years as breaking/riding horses became more sophisticated. Real good horseman use their legs as 'aids' to help their horses perform at peak level.

Riding with toes down, also puts you a bit foreward in the saddle and we have learned (supposedly) that you need to ride with your "W's" deep in the saddle. However, ranch guys and gals tend to ride a bit foreward so as to help their horse as much as possible and to stay off their back in tough situations.

I may have made this clear as mud, and would be glad for anyone else to wiegh in here. I think I am getting more in over my head in trying to clear this up. :help:

It really doesn't matter, it is just that I feel sorta responsible for nr's anxiety about GW's toes!
 

nr

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Putting George aside, why does the outer part of my knee hurt after riding?
 

Jeannie

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nr said:
Putting George aside, why does the outer part of my knee hurt after riding?

Possibly because the stirrups are twisting the lower part of your leg in, or maybe you are doing it without realizing it?
 

carole3218

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While I was down with pnumonia, I read a great easy reading western called Appaloosa by Robert Parker. Some of you might enjoy the easy reading on this book. It was first book of Parker's I have ever read. I am on one called "The Wild Girl" about a half wild Mexican/Indian girl in 1932. It is kind of dark reading and I will let you know how it goes as I get further into it. Anybody got any suggestions for good new western books?

Warm regards to all, it was 107* yesterday here in Greeley but I guess it is hot everywhere.
 

Jinglebob

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nr said:
Putting George aside, why does the outer part of my knee hurt after riding?

Perhaps your horse is too fat/thick for you?

Could be the saddle or the way you are riding. How far did you ride.

Maybe just have to learn to ignore the pain, if you are in the older catagory. Meaning anything over 40! :shock: :lol:
 

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