Today is the day; lesson day. I am nervous, but mostly excited. I just hope I enjoy, and I hope I like my horse.
I am a BIG believer in being connected with our horse. This was just how I felt, and I just went with it. When I meet a new Equine, I always spend some time just meeting them, to see if I feel a connection. Might be a bunch of Mumbo Jumbo to many people, but I tend to put a lot of stock in it. Some horses speak to me right away, while some take a while, and others don't at all. They ones that don't, I don't want any part of.
Although a relative Newbie to riding , I feel strongly that any ride on a horse is a mutual decision between horse and rider. It has to be a partnership, and if I don't think the horse wants to work with me, I am not getting involved. Sure; the human is in charge (we like to think so anyway), but the horse must allow that.
This was all a theory, or a way of thinking, that I had come to on my own. I just knew this to be true, and at times "knowing" this made me a feel a bit foolish. Speaking about it with some humans resulted in some eye rolls, and some head shakes, and I was made to feel as though I was romanticising horses. And Maybe I am......
Our former BO, Suzie, is a horse trainer, and "true horse people." She trains horses for roping, reining and barrels, and has worked with just about any discipline. While boarding there this past summer, Miranda and I wanted to go on a trail ride. Having just one horse, Suzie offered us Flash for my use. Flash is seven year old gelding, dapple grey, built small, and a true and steady mount. I had seen him around the barn, and knew that Suzie loved him and had trained him since she saw him born. Quite frankly I was flattered that she trusted me with him, and knew that she trusted him with me.
Before I rode, Miranda did, and she liked him just fine. I spent some time with him, and then mounted up. Right off the bat I was uncomfortable. I did not feel Flash at all, he was not connecting with me, and although he was acting just fine, we were not on the same wavelength at all. I got off after trying for about 15 minutes. It was clear to me that Flash and I were not a good match.
Feeling kind of stupid, I dreaded seeing Suzie. What was I to say? Hey, thanks for letting me ride your horse, but I don't like him? Honesty is the best policy, and so I was. Suzie looked at me, and said that she was glad I got off of him because one should NEVER ride a horse that does not "feel right." It is a personal thing, she said, between you and the horse, and nothing good ever comes of forcing a relationship. Turns out Suzie, the Trainer, uses "feel" as her guiding force in all that she does with horses. She says that if she does not "feel" the horse, she passes on that horse, and that she advices all her riders to do the same. Humans are a lot more sensitive to the connection than we give ourselves credit for, says Suzie, and we should all listen to our senses more. Suzie loved Pippi, and I think she misses Pippi way more than she misses us. Pippi was the one in the herd that alerted Suzie to "trouble", so I am sure she does miss her.
So today is my first lesson. I have decided to go early and hopefully get to meet my mount early. Either way, this is a schooling horse, so I am sure it might take a while to see who this horse really is. I will have my first lesson whether I like the horse or not, but I sure hope this Equine and I hit it off. Schooling horses, or boarding horses, tend to be a bit closed off, I suppose it is from being ridden by transient humans over and over again. And who can blame them?
I am really excited!! And nervous!! But mostly EXCITED!!!