Back to Trent Valley

Back to Trent Valley


Most students hate autumn. But I love this season. So many beginnings; new people, new modules, new notebooks, and for the equestrian society of the University of Nottingham, a new year of subsidized lessons in Trent Valley!

The committee say that this year the members are over 500, the highest number ever, and of course all those people want to learn how to ride and volunteer for RDA yards! So, imagine, what it takes for a member to secure a lesson, and how hard it is for the committee members to organize everything!

So here we go, it was my turn to show up in Trent Valley for my first lesson of the season. I signed up for the pre-novice level and I was happy to know that I’ve gone one step higher! The day began as a disaster, me being late both at the meeting point and the lesson, but it turned out it was for the best! Everyone had mounted except for me, and the good thing is, that my old friend Smartie with the cute bridle was available, as the last choice! Smartie is an active horse, but he has his own attitude, which many people hate! He’s a naughty, unpredictable horse, that loves making riders fly! He also bites sometimes, and his favorite target is the butt of the horse at his front! And these reasons exactly make me love Smartie so much!
After sorting myself out, the lesson began. The horses had already warmed up thanks to the beginners’ lesson that had just finished, and this was good for an active horse like Smartie. All horses were lazy, but Smartie was really energetic and knew his job. It was his day! Today’s lesson included practicing some things that I hadn’t practiced enough in the past; jumping (oh, yeah!) and the sitting trot. I managed to jump twice or three times on Smartie (without flying towards the exit of the school), and realised how hard the sitting trot can be. My bottom still hurts!

Here I have to stress again how intelligent horses can be. Smartie was getting a lot of pats, of course, since he was brilliant. While we were just standing still next to the mirror, waiting for our turn for the jump, I told him “look in the mirror Smartie, how beautiful you are!” Smartie glanced at the mirror, and got a bit melancholic. Then he turned his head and stared at me until we had to walk forward. I became a bit melancholic too. Imagine having all this stuff on your mouth and face, being pulled, and kicked, and whipped and forced to run and jump around with a bossy 65kg, two-legged creature on your back!

After a lovely and fun lesson, we unmounted (I was the last one as always, in case that you wonder), sorted out the horses, then ourselves, and then back to our accommodation. It was so nice! Please, Laura, let me ride Smartie again!