Along for the ride:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Satisfying Day

Today was a good day. It started off promising; when I went outside this morning, it was no longer hot enough to make a human sizzle. This human drove off to the stables which she has rediscovered recently and doesn't really know why she had gone anywhere else. (Pause to kick my own butt).
As this stables actually allows riders to prepare their own designated horses, I was able to experience the wonderful contentment of long boots that are suddenly comfortable for walking, as well as riding. I had been considering bringing a change of footwear to wear down to the paddock to bring in the horses. The last couple of times I've been thinking about the blisters my Harry Halls were forming on my heels more than anything more equestrian. So, Hurrah for comfy feet!
I also have a new helmet. I was told that my old velvet cap, with the rotted out silk lining, that leaves disgusting brown sprinkles in my hair, was no longer of an approved nature. I felt quite special and liked the more modern look and feel.
We have a teacher who pays attention and offers constructive criticism! I feel like repeating that in capitals. 
It has been my experience here in Northern California that Riding School Lessons are given by people (often young) who can ride but have no notion of passing information along. My intermittent lessons at several different barns have had me on a horse, being told to walk, trot, canter and sometimes go over poles. No discussion of the aids, no: "head up - heels down" to "take the fun out" of the entertainment. I don't ride for entertainment. I love the science and attempts at progress and unity for myself and the horse, and the reasons why things work or don't work! Riding in Europe comes with buckets of info. It probably does here for the horse-owners who can choose a trainer. I have had a hard time finding what I was looking for, until now. Suffice to say I was reminded, in detail, of my imperfections and I can't wait until I can go back again and get picked apart some more. 


  1. What wonderful news! That last barn where you rode did not sound like what you wanted. Now, at last, it seems you have found a good place to ride and learn.

    I love the idea of your being able to prep your own horse too. It makes the whole experience so much more complete.

    So, what brand of boots are they? And the helmet? Most horsemen I know are always interested in what products other people like. I have my Mountain Horse boots with full length zippers. Makes it so much easier to put them on.

  2. Oh, that sounds like so much fun. The last "rental" horse I was on was named Babydoll. Babydoll tried to kill me.

    I've always wondered if that was REALLY its name. Probably said Satan on the stall.

  3. Glad to hear you've found a good teacher, I had one of those hats too! As for instructors.. I was taught as a kid by an old cavalry man (insert stereotype, moustache, cavalry jodphurs, leather boots, large whip). His name was even Basil!.. and he was brilliant! I still hear his voice clipping at me when I ride and do something stupid.
    "If you don't put those bloody heels down you are going to lose your saddle and do it!" I'm happy to say I've managed to find a female version of Basil to teach my kid, if I yelled at her the way she does it would turn into a war, but she loves her!
    Hope it all goes well for you!

  4. Excellent to have found a better place to ride! It's amazing how many people out there are giving riding lessons without really knowing much of anything - and charge money for it too! It's good that you get your own horse ready - to me, that's an important part of working with horses and also a great way to learn more about your horse and how she or he is feeling that day.

  5. It's great you have a good place to ride! I have an old velvet hat too(still wearing it)!!

  6. Jean, boots are Harry Hall. I treated myself when in England last November. They have zipper back and stretchy panels, comfortable to ride in from the first day. Walking was another matter which is why it put a smile on my face yesterday that suddenly they were O.K.
    Helmet has Tipperary on it I think. It's out in the car and I'm too lazy to go see. I have a new client who owns a Tack Shop, so I went to her. Funny that the sizes are small, medium, large. I was used to hats in eighth of an inch increments. Times do change.

  7. Woohoo missus, you are joining the *new* century's riders...all the cool togs but they probably don't have half the background you do. I hate hats but Claire has told me so many times that I must wear one and I'm a good girl now and wear one nearly all the time.
    Sounds a good place you have found, enjoy.