First attempt at horse riding

Monday 1st July, 2013

So today I went horse riding. While this may seem pretty casual to a lot of people, it was definitely out of the ordinary for me! I had never been before today. It was something that, as a child, I had wanted to try but the money factor always prevented it. The closest I had ever been to riding a horse was clearing out my friends stables when I was at school, but even then I just looked at the horse. Was too scared to go any closer!

I went with my friend Luke. Who, after today, I would describe as; patient, inspirational and optimistic. Without him I wouldn’t have been able to get on the horse let alone ride it!

I rode his sister’s horse, Bella who is kept at a farm near to where we both live. After arriving at the farm, and finding her in the field, he showed me how to attach the bridle and saddle to her. Both of which looked very confusing to start off with!

I also got to groom her. I never realised just how soft and beautiful horses’ fur is. It all brushes in one direction, and is so smooth to touch. Her mane was different to expected, but beautiful none the less.

Once in the school, he showed me how to get on the horse. This in itself was confusing enough for me! I used the stool to get on, but even then I was very short! I was relatively calm before getting on Bella, but once on her, I got a little more scared! I didn’t realise just how high I would be! Her back was literally the height of me, so once sat on her, I felt miles in the air!

It was weird at first when she started walking. I thought I was going to fall off! As she stepped from foot to foot (or hoof to hoof) I could feel myself swaying with her and when you lack in balancing skills this isn’t great feeling!

After a while, and a lot of support and encouragement from Luke, I was walking her around the school. This to me was amazing. It’s something I’ve dreamt of for so long so being able to just ride a horse at walking pace was unimaginable!

Luke encouraged me to try and get Bella to trot. By this point I felt safe with both Bella and Luke and trusted what he was telling me (not that I didn’t before!) However, my first attempt didn’t go quite to plan!

I got her trotting but she instantly made a dart for the jumps that were set up for another rider. I can safely say I saw my life flash before my eyes! Although, I was pretty chuffed with how I handled it, or how she handled it I should say! After darting for the jump, she stopped literally centimetres away. In the mean time I had my feet off the stirrups ready to dive! I was definitely not ready to do a jump on a horse!

After calming her down, and walking around the school I was able to get her trotting more. Well I say I was, the only time she would trot was when Luke was running in front of her. I did feel sorry for him, don’t think he quite expected to have to run around that much!

He then put poles along the floor in order to encourage her to run between them to pace the trotting out, however yet again, she would only do this if he too, jumped over the poles!

It was such an enjoyable experience! More so than I thought it would be! I was excited before starting, but nervous also. Once finishing, I just wanted to go again! As I said at the start, it was all down to Luke. Without him, I wouldn’t have been able to ride Bella (obviously!) but I also wouldn’t have had so much faith in myself. I trusted what he was telling me, because I could see how much faith he had in me! It was an experience I shall never forget, and an experience I hope to carry out again! I can now honestly, and proudly say, I have been horse riding and can’t thank Luke enough for that experience!

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