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At the end of April, I helped out at my friend Nan's schooling show (she's a riding instructor and runs a sport horse farm). In exchange she said she'd give me 2 half-hour lessons, as I really want to ride again but I need someone coaching my position etc. as it's been about 6 years since I've been on a horse.

Yesterday I took my first lesson--I'm glad it was only a half-hour, because that's about all my legs could take! (Doesn't matter how much one works out at the gym, only riding horses uses all the relevant muscles at once.) Last night I was sore from the point of my hips all the way down to my knees, but I was quite pleased that I am hardly stiff at all today, which bodes well for getting back into riding shape pretty quickly.

The horse I rode is really neat, her name is Moccachino, she's a 4-year-old Percheron x TB (though Nan thinks she might actually be Percheron x Standardbred, as if she gets too unbalanced at the walk she starts pacing a bit). She's 17 h, and based on her breeding may actually grow another inch or so. The cool thing about her is that even though she's young, she's very steady and calm--at one point some horses in the field next to the big jumping ring started tearing around playing, and I reflexively tensed up, anticipating a big spook (old habits die hard LOL), but Mocha just looked at the horses for second, like "Oh well, silly things", and kept going. The tough part of the ride is that being only 4 and somewhat green, she's still unbalanced, and keeping a 17hand, 1600 pound young horse straight and forward can be kind of like riding a freight train.

The coolest part of it all, though, is that Mocha's owner doesn't ride her very much, maybe once a week, and the mare, being young, needs a lot more flat work than that. So Nan told me I can come ride her any time I want! Yay, I have a horse to ride again!! I'll need to stock up on the glucosamine and MSM though, cause holy crap was my bad hip locked up when I got off yesterday. :( But I have a horse to ride again, and a really impressive one at that!!

Date: 2010-05-26 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dejla.livejournal.com
Oh, I'm glad to hear that! The horse, I mean, not your bad hip.

Date: 2010-05-28 02:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elegant-bonfire.livejournal.com
She's a cool horse. And I think my hip will loosen up once all I get all the surrounding muscles/ligaments stretched out and back in shape. I'm about to head out for MWC, I wish you'd been able to go, we'll miss you. :(

Date: 2010-05-26 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fpb.livejournal.com
I know how much this means to you, so I am totally delighted for your sake. Long may this last, and may it lead to permanent work with horses again.

Date: 2010-05-28 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elegant-bonfire.livejournal.com
Thanks, I was secretly hoping to get some catch rides once I got back into it, I'm thrilled it came about so fast! It's a bit of egoboo, too, as no trainer will ask a rider to school a horse unless the trainer thinks said rider will be able to maintain/improve the horse's level of schooling. So I guess I haven't forgotten everything after all LOL. I'm on my way to MediaWest Con (lucky me, it's practically in my backyard, only a couple of hours drive) and Nan is taking students to one of the first big shows this weekend, but as soon as everyone's back I'll be riding as much as I can. This is the website for Sunshine Farms--http://www.sunshinehunterjumpers.com/. There are no pics of Mocha-mare on there, but it shows the nice big outdoor ring we have to ride in, and the huge building in the back, at right angles to the stable, is the indoor arena. There's more fields and stuff behind the arena, too, even though the farm is only 12 acres.

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