Trick riders have long been entertaining crowds with their jaw-dropping stunts. A trick called the “Apache Hideaway” and sometimes the “Backward Fender” or “Half Fender” is a crowd pleaser and a trick-riding staple. Karen Vold, owner of the Red Top Ranch Trick Riding School in Avondale, Colo., breaks down the move.
Editor’s note: This article is for entertainment purposes only. Do not attempt this trick without the supervision of a trainer.
1. Successful setup
“First, set yourself up for success,” Vold says. “Don’t attempt this trick in a brand new saddle! New saddles are very nice, but you need broken-in leather. If the fenders are too stiff to bend, you won’t be able to do the trick. Use a nicely broken-in saddle. Move your horse into the gait you’d like, and don’t get into your trick until you pass the first corner. There, you’ll drop your reins and let the horse follow the pattern.”
“The idea here is that you’re going to hang parallel to the horse on the left side. Hanging on to the horn with your left hand and with all your weight in the left stirrup, swing your right leg over the back of the horse as if you were dismounting. Put your right hand on the cantle, and using it for leverage, push your left foot—still in the stirrup—a little away from horse. This gives your foot space to maneuver. Simultaneously, bend your left knee while rotating your left foot inward and toward the back of the horse so your knee goes under the fender; take your right hand off the cantle and extend it parallel to the ground, over your heard toward the horse’s face; and extend your right leg toward the horse’s tail.”
“Your right leg should be in a straight line going toward the tail of the horse, with your right heel rotated inward and your toe pointed. Your right hand is extended toward the horse’s head and your body should be in a straight line. You don’t want your bum bent downward so that your body looks like a “V.” You want your body to be in a straight line because that’s what makes a pretty look. You should be facing the back of the horse or out toward the audience.”
“To come out of the trick, you simply reverse your moves. Pull your body up with your left hand—which has never left the horn—and push your body up with your left foot. While rotating your left foot back toward normal riding position, swing your right leg back over the saddle then pick up the reins.”