Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Whistle a Happy Tune

Here I am, riding Doc on Sunday.
I might have been whistling a happy tune
because I had the opportunity to get out
with other riders in a beautiful setting!

Recently I read the following on a ListServ:

"When I first started riding Clifford* as a 3 year old, lightly, on the glorious acreage on the estate, I'd sing..."When You Walk Through a Storm." Thought it a good selection as I was reinforcing the "walk" part. Didn't want "When You Gallop Through a Storm!" One day as we went along, I heard a male voice singing in the distance. It kept getting closer and closer. It turned out to be, Jeremy*, one of my barn buddies, who was riding his 3 year old. We were a regular Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, the singing movie duo from the dark ages of film.

I don't personally remember them. I'm old(er) but not that old. My grandma was a fan. It really does work, this singing thing.

In college, one of my PE semesters was in conscious relaxation. At the time, I thought it was dumb with a capital D. It turned out to be an extremely valuable learning, mind control of the body, all parts. Can't give a short course on line but for the up-tights, it's worth pursuing."

*names were changed

This post caught my attention because I am a horseback singer! I often find myself singing while on horseback and remember doing so when riding as a teen. I sing for a number of reasons, but most often because songs make me happy. Or perhaps I burst into song when I am happy, and riding makes me happy, so I sing. I'm not sure which comes first!  

If my heart is fluttering a bit, I will consciously sing to calm down. Just as the ListServ writer suggested. If I'm really nervous I might catch myself singing, "Whistle a Happy Tune" from the King and I:

Whenever I feel afraid
I hold my head erect
And whistle a happy tune
So no one will suspect
I'm Afraid.
While shivering in my shoes 
I strike a careless pose
And whistle a happy tune
And no one ever knows I'm afraid.

If I'm out on the trail alone, I'll sometimes fill the quiet with a song. I think my song matches the cadence of the hoofbeats, or perhaps the hoofbeats come to match the rhythm of the song! 

One thing I like about singing on horseback is that the horses never complain! They don't care if I sing a song over and over again. They never make snide comments about my singing off key. They don't seem to care if I am at a loss for words and fill in some sort of nonsense, or just change to humming. 

Do you sing on horseback? 
Is singing a form of conscious relaxation for you?
What songs do you find yourself singing?

Another picture from our Sunday trail ride.


  1. This post made me so happy, I would sing if I could. Can't! I rode horses from a very young age and riding in the snow was always one of my favorite things. I remember falling off once into a puddle of half-melted snow and getting soaked to the bone. Thanks for the good memories.
    I have a different Say No to Word Verfication in my sidebar and I was wondering if I may copy all or some of your text? I am planning to write something, but haven't had the time. What you say is absolutely perfect. Please let me know. Thanks, Inger (If you want to email, my address in under Contact Me at the top of my blog)

  2. Camryn here:
    Yup my human sings, not good mind you not by a long shot. "You are my sunshine" is her fav in the saddle song. The words make me feel good, the melody mmmmm, not so much!

  3. I would sing if I could, but right now I have to concentrate too much!

    Love the snow pics :)

  4. They say music soothes the savage beast, well, my singing might not sound much like music, but I do sing a-horseback from time to time. Interestingly enough, when Chickory was a weanling, and a wild one at that, I had a heck of a time getting through to her that I wasn't a horse eating monster, and one day, when I had her in our mini round pen, I was getting frustrated, so I sat down and sang Shenendoah to her. That was the break through moment with her.

  5. I would LOVE to ride that horse and sing really loudly!

    Love your photos :)

  6. Singing while riding is one of the best things you can do if you are nervous and don't want your horse to know that you are not breathing. I would highly recommend it anytime.

  7. SNOW! You still have winter. Although, you have winter still everyone looks like they are having great fun!


  8. You and Doc look great together!
    I don't sing when I ride, but I do sing doing barn chores. "King of the Road" ("2 hours pushin' broom") comes up a lot.

  9. When I ride by myself, I listen to music on my Nano and I belt out the songs that I am listening to! Great picture of you and Doc.

  10. Sometimes I sing because I'm just happy to be out in the woods on my horse. Sometimes I sing to warn deer/whatever other scary critters are around that there's a human around (and a horse that may or may not freak out) and sometimes I sing just because I feel like it. haha...the horses never complain. =)


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