Hello again from a busy lady! Urgh! MAs! Anyways, I want to share with you the story of my last riding lesson. I want to share it with you, because it was one of those lessons where you realize that focus is needed at sports! Well, and how beautiful a day in the yard can be if you’re focused! Oh, and how intelligent horses are!
That day I had Rupert, a well-built, white, tall horse, with a lovely back. Like any equine, Rupert has his own character; he has his own mind about where you want to go. OK, and he’s intelligent. And maybe polite to other horses (aka, not biting their butts when they don’t move them, but rather freeze right behind lol). He doesn’t want you to lead him, he wants to lead you, or this is what I thought.
So, the lesson began, with Emma as our instructor. I’ve only had one lesson and one gymkhana session with Emma. She’s just graduated from uni and she’s already a qualified instructor. A quite good one, as her exercises are quite fun indeed! Again, I had the please-don’t-let-the-foreigner-lead anxiety, as we were doing the lesson in the inner part of the arena, a kid’s lesson being in progress on our one side, and excited parents mingling on the other -_- . And me having to hear in English, think in Greek and move myself and the horse, all simultaneously.
But this was not the only trouble. I stopped twice to have the stirrup fixed, hence delaying the lesson and probably I was too relaxed at the beginning. I don’t know why. I was just too relaxed. And, for the first half hour, I might have been confused as well; confusing Rupert as a result. We did the exercises fine, as long as I was not leading and Rupert had no slow-moving horses in front of him. The lesson in general went well, though, despite the frustration I caused in the beginning, with Emma wondering where I was going! The training was great, from the aspect that I had to use my whole body to put Rupert into the outside side of the arena, to join the ride after the exercise. It took effort, but it was not that hard! I also noticed that I could change my 60cm-long whip from side to side even in trot, without stopping and without thinking about it. I hadn’t done that before. The hardest part was the sitting trot exercise. Just ouch! I discovered I was all-swallowed when I got home!!! How did the others make it? Well, I guess that they were not bouncing on the reign (?!?!) for about, let’s say, half of the lesson (it was a long reign, that’s true)! The thing I was a bit upset about is the fact that I actually had to use my whip several times.
When the lesson finished, we had to dismount, tidy the stirrups and loosen the girth, wait for everyone to sort themselves and the horses out and lead the horses back to their stalls, where carrots -lots of carrots- were waiting to be eaten. I got a bit panicked when I had to dismount. The horse was too tall, simply. And I also half-landed on his hoof, oops. But I got a nice horsey cuddle while I was fixing my stirrups. And a nice selfie, while I was leading him out of the school. As I was waiting, I hugged his beautiful neck, stroke him and said: “I didn’t whip you too much, did I”? Then he stared at me a bit sadly for a few moments with his huge eyes; I could see almost my whole body in them when I stared him back, right into them (well, yeah, only petites and petits can accomplish that).
Back to the stall, Rupert slightly stepped on my foot while I was turning him in, but thankfully it was very light and fast, so I felt almost nothing. An instructor helped me untack Rupert and put his rug on. OMG, it’s so complicated! Here’s one strap going like this, there’s another strap going like that…. Pf! And Rupert was just eating his orange reward, lol! Suddenly, I heard a female voice saying “Christina is brave”. It was Karen, our RDA officer, who was at the lesson as well. I asked “why”? She said, “because you went right behind Rupert”! To be honest, I had forgotten about that :/ , but luckily, he was too busy with his carrots!
That’s for now, until I submit my research proposal. CU! xx