Wednesday, July 15

Overdue horseback riding update

Greetings. Sorry for not putting up an update recently about my horseback riding. For whatever reason, after I get home and rest, I get distracted and have forgotten to update everyone on my progress. Well, here's a summary of what we've worked on in the last month. I didn't go on July 4th due to the holiday.

We've been working on counting steps around the arena. I learned by doing this that the arena is 14 by 28 steps square, or rectangle as it is. We counted steps when both Paint was walking slow and a little faster and came up with more or less the same numbers. I've learned from a volunteer that the reason for this is to work up to having me ride in the arena without any front or side walkers. Back in June, Brenda had one of her teenage volunteers stand in one part of the arena and talk. The first time this happened the girl didn't know what to talk about, and pretty much just said hi to me each time we got close to her. The next Saturday, Brenda gave her a book on dressage to read aloud. A little while into the lesson, when passing her, the girl said that she was learning so much about dressage that she didn't realize before. Brenda said that this would help me get a feel for how large the arena was, and more of an idea of distances. Last weekend I wasn't able to ride Paint, due to him recovering from surgery, so I spent the time learning more about grooming and leading him in the arena. When leading, I learned how to turn right and turn left. The concept of pushing him to the right for all right turns took me a little while to fully grasp. I was confused and thought that Brenda said to use this pushing method for both turns, even if we're going counter clockwise, but I later learned that this wasn't the case. When walking around the arena, Brenda asked one of the teenage volunteers to tap each of the lettered cones she had out for dressage. She has also set out a radio near the gate, so that on one end I hear the radio and the other end I hear the girl reading the dressage book. This has worked out quite well in helping me get my bearings in the arena, and leads me to think that this might be how things are when I ride solo. Right before leaving when talking with Brenda, I heard one of the other students there, an autistic girl, whinny like a horse. I said to Brenda, "Wow, that's an interesting sounding horse you have; and it sounds so human but it made a horse sound. Hmm." The whinny ended in a laugh, so that's kind of a dead giveaway. Anyway, I'll try to get back to regular updates. This weekend I'm not sure if I'll go riding, perhaps might put an errand in the riding's place, but I'm definitely going on July 25 before a break in the first 2 Saturdays in August. Until then.

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