Bareback Ride

I spent the last week in blissfully (comparatively) cool Milwaukee, Wisconsin and have returned to the sweltering abyss that is Oklahoma. While I was out, my coworkers fed sweet G, my awesome vet spayed and boarded Buttons, and my friend Katie kept an eye on my cats. I inadvertently left Katie the key to my office instead of my front door (meaning she had to finagle her way into the house through the garage), and Katie left it in the super-secret hiding spot I had for it. 

I was so excited to get back to work on Gina that I sprang out of bed at 5 AM Friday morning and arrived at the barn by 6 AM. I fed the G, her paddock-mate Whiskey, and the other staff equine, an evil (but adorable) P.O.A. named Maverick. I drove up to my office and jumped out. That’s when I realized I’d forgotten my key. My locked, impenetrable office held all of my tack, my boots, and G’s brushes. Uh-oh…No one would arrive at the barn for another hour and a half, and by that time, I’d need to start working program horses. I was reluctant to call my boss that lives on-site due to the early hour. So I spent five minutes swearing in the parking lot. 
I decided to ride bareback. To my knowledge, G has been ridden bareback once before. I took her on a mini-trail ride one afternoon with some of the other horses in the big hay field about a month ago. She seemed kind of freaked out by the whole ordeal. 
Let’s recap: it’s 6 AM, I’m alone, riding my sometimes-spastic Thoroughbred bareback. My Pony Club instructors would have heart attacks.
I liberated my favorite program horse’s set of brushes and bridle. The bit was actually one of Anne’s, a fat French-link eggbutt that’s similar to Gina’s regular bit, just a whole lot fatter. I brushed G and bridled her and climbed aboard. She was confused. I could see her trying to figure out where the saddle was and why this bridle lacked a noseband. 
Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, we had a pretty productive ride. We walked for most of our ride, as trotting made me feel as if I was flopping like a dying fish. We took a spin around the newly-expanded sensory trail, where G walked over mulch and a small hill like it wasn’t even a thing. Back in the arena, we worked on halting. The fat eggbutt seemed to make G really reach for the bit- maybe it’s more comfortable than her usual eggbutt. Our halting exercises went beautifully, and overall, I felt good about our ride.
Will we be doing frequent bareback rides? Probably not, but it’s good to know that sometimes the G and I can just have a relaxing morning ride- with or without a saddle!