Friday, February 18, 2011

The Man from Snowy River

If you are a horse person/owner/rider/lover and you haven’t seen this movie….drop what you are doing this instant and go buy it! I have been watching this movie since I was probably 2yrs old. Watching it now I see how much it shaped my horse life and I couldn’t be happier.

 I liked the main character Jim better than I did Jessica…she is too whinny for me.  I wanted to ride like Jim but better(heels down and less pulling in the horse’s mouth) and do it being a girl…not be in a silly dress. I fell in love with Kip, Jessica’s horse and wanted a grey horse from there on out. I already had my imaginary horse Beauty that was black but my other imaginary horse, Lopez(don’t ask, nobody knows where I got that name) was grey and soon was ridden more often than Beauty. I had imaginary horses since I could walk/talk…my family had no idea where this disease came from but I would tie my horses(NEVER ponies) to my swingset while I played outside and laugh when they pooped. So from this movie on…I was hooked on greys and have owned several in my horse life. My family has home videos of me swinging and talking about my horses and even going over to move them to a new grassy spot because they had eaten everything there. They were perfectly behaved and lead very well…..although Beauty was known to occasionally jump around and be silly like the young colt in this movie… I never had trouble handling him like Jessica did. Lol 

Throughout the movie Jim’s horse Denny is a perfect example of a well broke horse, he stops from a dead run in a simple snaffle bit, turns, rides straight, lopes off, and you can crack a whip off of him, he was everything I wanted when I looked for my first horse. He is a little hot and I ended up with a GREY 15.2hh arab gelding that was irreplaceable….he was hot but very obedient and did everything I asked of him. He is missed. Now when I start young horses or ride already started horses I think about Denny. I ride them like I expect them to be good broke solid citizens.  I knew I wanted my horse to hit any obstacle without pause, to stop when other horses are rushing by, to not be scared of cows, to ride double, and I wanted to lope on top of a mountain without a care in the world. 

When Jessica comes into the barn where Jim is picking stalls and sees that Kip has torn up his halter(my horse Apple is like this) she tries to fashion a halter out of a piece of rope. I grew up with TONS of Breyer horses that were gifts from my grandmother but the saddles, bridles, and other accessories were too expensive for my family so I had naked horses. Well my one Barbie that could bend her knees had to have SOMETHING to ride with so my Dad taught me how to do the slip knot halter that Jim ties for Jessica. I had halters and bridles for each of my Breyer horses made from dark blue yarn. My mom gave me a spool of yarn and a pair of scissors and I went to town. My Barbie could easily ride bareback and she now could lead and ride her horses. I cannot tell you how many of these I made and remade. When I started riding I rode English so all my bridles now had to have browbands and one rein instead of split reins. J To this day I prefer to ride bareback and I think this is why...if bend-her-knees Barbie can do it… I can too!

 Growing up and even now  I never did get into just one discipline….another movie from my childhood(Danny) shaped me to like all of them…and while I have competed in many different disciplines one of my goals is to do a musical dressage test to the music from the chase of the brumbies in this movie. 

I think the one of the most valuable lessons this movie taught me was to keep my heels down. When the big group of riders is chasing the brumbies many riders fall or get knocked off their horses by branches and they get drug behind the horse because they didn’t have their heels down.Another great lesson is don't give up even when the jerk pulls your horse's bridle off at a full gallop.

All in all this movie like so many other great horse movies really had an impact on my horse life. I watched this movie while sitting at work today and laughed/smiled at all the things it makes me remember from when I was younger.  

If you have seen the second one it isn't as good but there is a part in the beginning where Jim shows that a mountain horse isn't junk and does an obstacle course the was used to show off military horses....I always wanted a horse that would do that.....that's why I have Apple. 

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