My Horse-riding experience
Moments on horseback are like scenes from a movie where the star rides off into the sunset.
When my cousin Cherry first suggested the idea that we spend our winter vacation learning to ride horse, I wasn’t exactly thrilled in the beginning, but she always has a way to bring me around.
We reached the academy and I finally got my first independent experience on horseback, it didn’t go the way I’d dreamed and planned.
Among the three of us, I was the first to mount up the tallest horse, Sultan. When I did, (with a tad bit of difficulty) I knew we were meant to be and I fell a little bit in love.
I began to imagine that Sultan would panic and bolt with me on him, headed off into the plain ground with tiny me on his back. I had never ridden independently, besides the time I was in Shimla and Kashmir, but this was different (obviously) and did not know my “whoa” from my “go”. My fears fed my self-doubt and became crippling. As much as I was trying to act calm, the moment Sultan started to walk a little fast, I screamed in my mouth, but audible enough for the rest of the people around taking the class with me to hear. The height of the horse and the knowledge about how high I was from the ground made me panic. I could not even imagine how heavy the horse would weigh if it were to fall on me. l also feared regret, that if I got off the horse now out of panic and self-doubt, I would let my fear of what could happen to get in the way of something I really wanted to do.
People think that all you have to do is sit there and the horse does all the work. Wrong! If you want to ride and develop a relationship with horses, you need a qualified trainer.
More memorable was the first time I rode a horse at the trot ( to trot is move faster than walking, but not quite at a full-out run) I really was clueless and had no idea that it would be any different than a faster walk. My instructor put me on a lunge line. I gave my horse a boot, and boy did I start moving fast, bouncing like all get out. Between feeling completely unbalanced and getting whacked in my “she parts” I thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life. My second thought was that I was glad that I didn’t have any kids. Luckily, my instructor was patient enough to let me learn at my own phase.
I survived and am still riding days later, but I’ll never forget that day.
After a couple of classes filled with squating on the horse and scratches on my feet, I finally mastered the art of following the movement of the horse’s back and stay in balance with him (troting, basically).
I became absolutely uncontrollably addicted after learning trot perfectly. It was like the first dose of a drug and it’s one that I do not ever want give up. I feel like a completely new and different person on top of a horse. I could trot on Badal, the most notorious of horses who is often angry and can get difficult with most riders. Sultan will always be my favorite, you never forget your first. 🙂
After each class, my trainer instructs me to take a few minutes after and during riding to pat or scratch the horse on the neck, chat at them and walk it around holding the reigns. I think they appreciate it.
Whether or not the horse likes you will make a difference too. A horse that loves you will want to be ridden and be around you and make both your lives easier when out and about. They can sense fear and indecision – if you don’t know what you’re doing, a seasoned smart horse will either take advantage of it, or ‘train you’ how to ride.
Joy. Delight. Ecstasy. Pure unfettered exhilaration!
To mount on top of this amazing creature is my truest of homes :’)