After decades of wearing many hats. Mom, wife, employee, daughter, sister, aunt. I am rediscovering “me”. The me that existing before all the titles. The me that I’ve never really known. Now at a point in my life where the hats have all come together to form one hat that is easily removed, I am discovering a whole new me!
The transition has been at times painful and scary, but has transformed into something liberating and exciting!
I started horseback riding last fall. I’ve always wanted to learn to ride. As a kid we didn’t have the money. As an adult there wasn’t time or money. But now… I looked around and there was no one to say it was a bad idea. I saw an ad that was offering lessons on a lesson horse. Pretty small investment. I could pay as I went and see how it goes! Perfect! Worse case I take one lesson and discover I’m so sore I never want to get on a horse again. Best case, I get to do something I’ve always wanted to do. I called and booked my first lesson!!
Truth be told I was pretty nervous on my way out to have my first lesson. Was I being fool hearty? What if I got hurt? I might not bounce back so quickly at this stage? Are people going to think it odd? Her students were all kids. I booked a private lesson to spare myself the obvious disparity in ages as I was at the level of her four year olds. Yup totally green! I had gotten a cheap pair of boots with a heal on them. She said I’d need boots, but I wasn’t going to spend more than twenty dollars until I knew I would use them more than once.
When I arrived all my fears quickly dissipated. This cheery bubbly blonde girl in her twenties with her two little girls in tow met me at the paddock. She chatted easily and introduced me to my lesson horse. She was excited and soooo supportive of my new endeavour. I was so intimidated and out of my knowledge base, but she just handled my lack of confidence and knowledge like a pro. She took the time and showed me the brushes to use and explained why, she tacked him up and explained the gear and it’s use. I wanted to learn everything! I had always wanted someone to show me! I was in Heaven. Completely inept, but so happy to be there. We led him down to the outdoor arena and once inside she gave me a leg up. One two three UP! It was a less than graceful mount to be sure! But there I was! On the horse! It was exhilarating! She led him around and told me how to hold the reins and position my feet. The lesson was about 45 minutes. When I slid off my horse my legs barely held me as I hit the ground. They felt like two strands of spaghetti, but I already couldn’t wait for my next lesson!!
I was on cloud nine on the drive home. She was so great! She was patient and kind and so supportive. My lesson horse was also amazing! He was so patient and careful. I never had a moment of fear. I felt so lucky to have found them!
Fast forward six months!
I have been in my weekly lesson for six months now. As the weather turned we moved the lessons to an indoor arena. I have continued to use the same lesson horse whom I have gotten to know and trust and love. I invested in some proper riding boots, my own helmet and riding gloves. I’ve loaded and unloaded him from the trailer. Tacked him up and untacked him. Groomed him. I’m comfortable with the walk trot canter. Each lesson I see my progress and so does my horse! He’s so amazing. He challenges me according to my ability! He knows what I can handle. I have never felt fear when I’m on him but as I improve he occasionally tests me. He is an amazing boy! I just love him!
I am so excited for spring to arrive and begin the riding season! I’ve been on the hunt for a horse of my own. I have determined my interest is in the hunter/jumper. I’d like to do some cross country. I’m excited to go along to some events and clinics and learn about the world of eventing. If I keep at it I may be able to compete one day! If I can’t get there, I’m sure having a blast learning all about it and working toward it!
I invite you to join me on my journey as I post my weekly blog. I’m so excited to see where my new endeavour takes me! It has already greatly improved every aspect of my life!