So it finally happened. Nearly two weeks ago, I got the phone call I’ve been waiting for for over two years. The RDA called and asked if I wanted to go along for a session, a slot had opened up.
It was extremely nerve wracking going by myself to the other side of Manchester which meant catching two trams and then getting a short car ride from the tram station. Luckily, one of my puppy walking friends lives five minutes away from the stables and offered to give me a ride which I gratefully accepted.
We arrived and I got my boots and hat on, met the volunteers and the instructor who would be teaching me. We went into the arena and I was guided by the coordinator of this group to the mounting block and along came the horse. He was gorgeous and a smaller one than my general sizes but not too small at 14.2. I’ve ridden that size before. He was a cute and friendly pony. He was a roan I believe she said.
So the instructor had me mount correctly, hand on reins and mane, right hand on rear of the seat of the saddle, foot in the stirrup and over my leg went. I had a leader and a walker either side of me but I was totally OK with this as it meant they could see what my abilities were in a calm and controlled environment. I didn’t know this horse, the people didn’t know me so it seemed sensible to me. They asked if I rode independently and I said I did but was happy to ride with assistance until they were happy to do other wise.
So we walked around the school and she asked me to make him keep walking. I could already see some of this cheeky little chap’s personality that he would only do as much as the rider made him do. That was fine by me but he wasn’t going to get away with just walking so sweetly around an arena, I was riding that pony.
She had me change the rein a few times and also bring it up to trot. She asked lots of questions, like did I know how many beats there were in walk, what did trot mean, which diagonal did we sit on in rising trot, etc. I answered all her questions with ease. That is definitely in part to my first instructors of course.
After trotting a few times and transitioning down to walk quite nicely, she said, lets do a circle. I exclaimed, circles on my first day? That was OK with me. So we did a circle in walk, then in trot, twice and I kept the lovely pony going. my rise felt lovely and despite tiring after a few weeks out of the saddle due to a lack of money and time on my part, it all seemed to gel so nicely.
The instructor said she was very pleased with me. She said I did great for my first day
I jumped off, and said hello to the pony properly and my assessment was over.
There is a place for me if I want it and we can do a mixture of lessons and hacks, depending on what we want to do. There is a lovely big park that the stables are located in that the hacks take place. Everyone seems lovely and I’m hoping to split my time and money and ride with them and with my old riding school to.
The travelling did concern me but it wasn’t too bad. Even if my friend can’t give me a ride, the taxi fare shouldn’t be too much to the stables.
So it’s a start of a new chapter for me and my riding.
Thanks for reading,