Saturday, June 13

Riding lesson

Greetings. I forgot to post something last week, so this time I hope to make up for that. Today was all about balance and feeling the rhythm of the horse. We practiced standing up in the saddle when the horse was standing still and then when moving. Apparently I’m doing pretty good since I was moving ahead to more advanced things before Brenda asked. For instance, after the first time of standing in the saddle when Paint was walking, I was already barely hanging on to the mane, and moving my right hand to my right hip. All this is in preparation for trotting and the 2-point method of riding when trotting, of moving up and down in the saddle according to the movements of the horse.

Last week Brenda had set out a radio to play in one corner of the arena, which really helped out. At one point, when the classical song had stopped and right when the announcer was starting to speak, Paint was right in front of the radio when the man started talking, which really through Paint for a loop and scared him. He jumped slightly and then started speeding up, but not too much before the lead walker got him under control. I really didn’t feel too much of this in the saddle, aside from the slight jump and then lurch forward, but then it was over. Paint was a little wary a few times after that when we had to go by the radio. This week though, Brenda forgot to set the radio out. However, after awhile, there was one of the children of a volunteer in the nearby stands, which was more or less where the radio was positioned. After a few prompts from Brenda, the daughter said, “Hi,” when we passed. The first time Brenda tried prompting her though, the girl waved, which didn’t really do anything for me. It reminded me of when I’m crossing streets sometimes, I’ll wave to the drivers that I pass, who probably wave on reflex before they realize that I’m blind and can’t see them.

I was able to ride Paint back to the barn area instead of walking him back. I had sometime after the lesson and was able to groom First Choice, the large 16.2 hand horse. She’s the same one that I’ve fed peppermints to and who has nearly turned into a large dog for all the licking that she gave me on my hands, arms, and shirt. I’m always amazed at the size of these horses and their strong muscles. There were times when grooming First Choice, when I would stop and examine a part of her body, like her hips, legs, and even hooves. Her hooves looked a little bigger than normal hooves, since I’ve heard that the larger horses have larger hooves. First Choice’s hooves seemed to fit this, from what I could tell. I was careful and slow and methodical when running my hands down her legs and feeling the hooves. She never objected or was nervous when I was doing this. I think that both First Choice and I enjoyed this grooming and bonding time, especially when someone brought me another peppermint to feed her, which I did. Soon after, there she went again licking my arms, hands and shirt. She even rubbed her large head up and down on my front a few times. Brenda said that Choice looked very happy when she was being led back to her stall. Brenda also said that Choice kept looking at me, I suppose expecting another peppermint. She said that the horse kept looking at my tall white cane I had. I then tried to tell her that the cane wasn’t a peppermint and likely didn’t even taste nearly like one. Brenda said that Choice didn’t look too convinced and probably wanted to taste it for herself. I said to First Choice that if she did that, then the vet would likely have to come out and look at her.

Before I left, Brenda, a volunteer and I chatted briefly. The volunteer expressed her concerns with me feeling Choice’s hooves and what if something had happened, and that could be dangerous, etc. I quickly explained to Brenda my thoughts about large horses having large hooves, and that I wanted to check that out. I said that I was careful in my movements and that nothing happened. Brenda told me that it was okay, and she didn’t sound nearly as concerned as the volunteer did. Then I left. Until next time, happy trails.

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