I don’t know about you, but, from January onwards, all I think about is horses and… riding them, of course! There’s more and more sunshine in Nottinghamshire and the trips to the yards become more pleasant, as I look through at the bright green nature through the window. As the drive goes, you can see the sun rays teasing the branches of the trees that are going to wake up soon, or touching the waters of Trent river. England is a country poor of sunshine. But exactly this shortage makes the sunshine so beautiful and valuable.
In such a mood I boarded on the minibus that would take us to Scorpton Riding and Driving Centre for our equine therapy sessions. Mr Paul is an excellent, experienced driver and all I had to worry about was the room for improvement that my riding skills have.
In about an hour time, we arrived at Scorpton and the beverages and biscuits came out of the girls’ bags! Slurp! We chatted a lot -about riding mostly. I met a new girl, Gemma, who has been riding since she was five and does dressage as well. Gemma came with us as a volunteer and she would lead me throughout the lesson. Meanwhile, I had the time to take a few pictures of the beautiful premises. What I like most in Scorpton was its neatness throughout its facilities; minimum mud, hence clean riding boots!
In time, the lesson began and Babs was available -and in the mood for work! Great! While I was mounting, I noticed the beautiful rope that Gemma was holding; it was yellow and blue and looked like a curtain rope. It was just so pretty!
And off we go, with a brilliant Babsie that only needed a slight squeeze to get going. But she would cheat on the corners and move her head up and down. Thankfully Gemma helped me to cope with this and Babsie, in the end, would be happy to do the corners. Gemma would also teach me how to keep Babsie on the outer side of the arena. She would also teach me a “posh” way to halt; sitting deep in the saddle and squeezing the reign. I loved that one! In overall, I was happy to have Gemma besides me, as I had some native to help with instructions. In a foreign country, it is very, very difficult to train in sports in the local language, since you have so many things to focus on. Especially in equestrian sports, where you have a living creature between your legs in a quite spacious place, with all kind of background noises, things become more difficult. But anyways, we will always find a way to cope!
And, like with any lesson, funny things happened as well! I love the challenge of steering work, but sometimes it can be ridiculous! Once or twice I had to keep Babs from running away from the posts! When we moved to the poles, in trot, I don’t know whether it was Babsie or me, but I found my body swinging over her neck, with my head hanging from her shoulder! All I remember was myself taking a jump position while I was trotting. This may explain things! Thankfully, Babs knows how to do her work and soon I was back to my position with no dramas.
At the end of the lesson, we needed to dismount and turn the horses in. I don’t know what kind of new phobia this is, but again, I was hesitant to dismount. I don’t know yet how to explain it. When the time comes, I feel absolutely confused and scared. While we were waiting for everyone to sort themselves out, I passed my time tingling Babsie’s chin. She’s just so lovely!
Next, we had to wait for the next lesson to end, as we all had to return together. The next lesson was more advanced and the exercises were more complex and more fun, so it was nice to watch. And I had time for a photo with Gemma.
We were back on campus at 17:00 sharp, and I was exhausted. But, what the heck, it was worth it! See you on 2 March, Babs! Here are some pics (with an artistic flavour)!