I can vividly remember this day. [by the way, I am not including any pre riding done on a non learning basis here]. It was sunny, relatively warm for spring and a Saturday. Lots of kids were at the stables and I felt a little silly learning to ride alongside youngsters. I’m making myself sound so old right now but twenty-six versus six, I know which I’d rather be.
They didn’t have a mounting block as such, just a little step stool a year ago. And this is where I met Harry.
Harry is one of the funniest fellas down at the stable. Since getting to know him, he has some great habits and they all make him who he is. :
Harry’s a slower horse and this is why they probably chose him for me to try out. I’m guessing they were as anxious about my first lesson as I was.
I had been on a horse a few times before so I knew that I had to place my left foot in the left stirrup and swing my right over the horse’s rump without kicking him. I was still very nervous and once in the saddle the young girl who was going to teach was introduced to me. I had a leader which basically means someone is holding a leading rope attached to the horse’s bridle as you ride. And off we all went on a trail walk.
I must say something here that some may agree or disagree with. Where I ride are plenty of fields and farm tracks, we live in a very agricultural, hilly landscape so a flat, controlled arena is not always available. There is a school for jumping and such on the land but actual rides go out through the tracks and fields. Many disagree with this level of learning for a variety of reasons, whether it be muscle control, safety, balance, etc, but so far it’s worked a treat for me.
Sitting on the back of a horse has never feared me. Despite having zero sight I trust the people who were leading us and having been a dancer, my balance and movement seems to be rather natural in the walking gait.
The gait, is how the horse’s stride is measured and so the walking Gait is where the animal uses each foot at once to propel its body into movement. I.E. one foot in front of the other. I will talk more about the other Gaits later on, when we come to them.
Walking is the slowest of the gaits unless, you are on a really slow horse then that could be considered as a good old stroll.
I can honestly say I felt so free sitting there, holding the reins in my hand, still with no control over the beautiful horse beneath me but the freedom I felt was overwhelming. I have expressed in my previous post that I felt a little apprehensive about asking for riding lessons but after that first session, I was very much put at ease. All of the girls leading were friendly and the owner and our teacher were very open minded. Needless to say I returned the week after.
So after mounting, riding for a little while, around thirty minutes or so, we had to dismount.
Sitting in the saddle, you drop your reins, remove your feet from both stirrups and holding on to the front of the saddle, [remember I ride English style living in the UK], swing the right leg back over the horse’s rump avoiding making contact with the animal and jump down onto the ground. Harry wasn’t the biggest horse I’ve been on, and it would probably feel like a step off compared to some of the horses I’ve ridden lately.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this entry. I’ve never written this kind of blog before so if you have any questions you’d like me to answer or points to address in future blogs, please Email Me
Thanks for reading,
see you next time,