The Riding Report

kotter4

I’m riding a new horse.

As I started this post, I looked for my last post about riding, and it was over a year ago (with the exception of a mention in a New Year’s Resolution post).  That is kind of crazy, because I still ride three days a week, rain or shine.  So, here’s a year’s worth of updates right quick.  Last January(ish), I started riding the horse below, Ian.

kotter1

Things were awesome and going great and I was making a lot of progress.  In September, my barn was at a horse show, and one of the girls I ride with was looking for a new saddle, so our trainer brought her out to test some at the show, and I tagged along.  For fun, they had me sit on one.  And OMG, the difference.  The saddle rep came out to our barn later that week with demo saddles.  I tried the one he selected for me, and it was kind of spectacularly amazing. My balance and position were so dramatically changed that I could do little things that I’d been struggling with for months and months and months.  But a fancy new saddle ain’t cheap, people.  So I said I’d think about it, and the next time I was out, I rode again in my old saddle.  The difference was so clear.  Knowing I could have a significantly improved ride with that new saddle was the deciding point.  I coughed up all of the dollars, and purchased the fancy new saddle.

kotter3

Here it is last weekend in my room-of-construction, after I took it home for a good cleaning.  Even though the cost of that thing was laughably high, I have zero regrets.  The change it has made for my riding is unbelievable.  Not that I’m suddenly really good or anything, but it solved a lot of problems I was having overnight.  HURRAH!

ian

But then winter came, and things started to go downhill.  I mentioned in my New Year’s post, winter was hard on my horse.  My skills were advancing a bit, plus my horse is old and he was having a hard time with the cold weather.

Some time in December (or January, maybe?  Poor memory is why I should be better at writing blog posts for myself.), we fell.  I say “we” because the horse fell down, and brought me down with him.

Here’s a little gif I found with someone cantering, if you’re not familiar with what the heck that means.  I wasn’t going as fast or lovely as the lady below, but we were certainly moving.

So, I was riding along at a canter when my horse stumbled a bit coming out of a turn, caught his front foot, and PLUMMETED TO THE GROUND.  He went down face first, and I followed, doing a little mid-air somersault over the side of his neck and landing on my shoulder and hip in the mud.  I didn’t get hurt, as I didn’t fall far (the horse was already down), but that was kind of the beginning of the end.  Before the fall, I already knew that I was going to need a new horse soon, but I am not interested in buying a horse, and there was no one else at the barn for me to ride.  For a few months, we continued in a downward spiral, some days being great, and some days, I was so nervous about the occasional stumble, we didn’t do much beyond a walk.

iann

I rode a few other horses, and still rode Ian, but it wasn’t very fun.  A few weeks ago, a horse showed up at the barn, and my teacher had me try him out.  His person used to ride at the barn, but had been riding him elsewhere for a while.  She is about to join the Peace Corps, so she brought him back to see if there was anyone who might want to ride him.  I liked him okay the first time I rode him, but he had the remnants of a terrible winter coat, and was so raggedy-looking that I just wasn’t that impressed.  Then I rode him again, and I was hooked.

There two extra-exciting points (to me) to this update.  Number one, I think I’m going to be able to show this summer.  I will be doing only the most very basic of the beginner classes, but I’m pretty excited about going just for the experience of being part of a show and to give myself a goal to work towards.  Item number two, as a little reward to myself for the ridiculous hours/effort/craziness I’ve been putting into work lately, and to prepare for possible showing, and because riding is suddenly really fun again, AND because I really want to—- I’m planning to lease this new horse through maybe September, with the goal of riding 5 days a week.  Yay!  So, anyway… blog, meet Kotter, my current ride.

kotter4

 

 

 

One Response to The Riding Report

  1. Camille says:

    “My current ride.” Haha! Good for you for showing this summer. Can I come see you in action?

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