random horse thoughts

I am pretty sore today, after riding a slightly nutty horse for two hours yesterday afternoon. She wants to run really, really fast, so it took me an hour to get her to canter at a nice, even speed. And the way I did that was to keep her moving in tight little circles (at the full-out gallop she wanted to do) over and over and over again until she decided that A.) she was tired and B.) she couldn't stop going in circles and down the line until she pulled herself together. I was literally dizzy by the time we stopped doing these circles.

Such is the life of a catch-rider, which is what I am. All my horse dollars go toward my children's equestrian activities, so I get to ride the green horses, the ones people need schooled, and the ones no one else WANTS to ride.

But I realized last night after I was thinking over how the ride went, that this is actually a good thing. I can ride almost any horse passably, and unlike riders who are always able to ride a "made" horse, I am adaptable. It feels good to work through a problem, or to see a green horse make progress.

When I was growing up, riding and training other people's problem animals was often how I paid for showing my own horse. I never had a real trainer and I barely even had any lessons. My daughter is a really great little rider, and has ridden many ponies, but she is having a very different equestrian childhood than I had. She has a really nice show pony and a great trainer coaching her three times a week. She's only nine, but when she gets bigger, I am going to encourage her to work at the barn schooling other people's ponies, and offering to ride the problem animals. I think that's really important.


Dewi said...

I agree it’s an experience your daughter should acquire to feel she can ride any horse. This skill and the confidence are especially handy if your daughter decides to go to a college with an equestrian team. When you’re on a college riding team, at competitions you pick the other college’s school horses out of the hat for you to ride during a show.

David said...

Will you marry me?

Seriously, I've been reading your writing for years and just found your blog a few weeks ago. How is it that someone so cool is single?

I've seen your picture and you're cute. You are very funny. You are an incredible writer and to top it all off, you ride horses, over jumps. You are a very cool woman. Of yeah. You also seem to have good taste in music.

I read your bad dating scary stories. You are clearly just not meeting men who can appreciate you. I live in Portland, but if I lived nearby, I would appreciate you.


A fan

katie allison granju said...

I rode on my college team freshman year. Having to get on someone else's horse, when you have never even met the animal, is really intimidating for people who haven't ever developed any flexibility about what they can and will ride. I totally agree with you on that.

Anonymous said...

uh oh. your anonymous poster is going to raise some hackles again. I used to show horses. hunter jumpers. and very badly too. I had all the "ride whatever you can when you can" types sniffing down their nose at me. because I was very content to ride along on my already made horse and enjoy the ride. I hated horse shows. I pushed myself because I thought if they did it I should too. I had some little bitch come up to me and tell me I had "ruined my horse" (a previous beginner sho horse for some local bigwig who had moved on) because I took her on trail rides and rode western and just was a general horse slacker. in the big scheme of things: WHO CARES?????