Moving on, Growing Up…

When you ride a horse even just once you feel a bond towards it. This might be because

-you work together to achieve something

-you learned something

-the horse was cute or sweet

but whatever the reason may be every equestrian will tell you that they have a bond with the horses that they ride. So although the reasons and strength of bond will always be different from each rider and your horse you can bet it’s there.

So for those of you who aren’t too familiar with the equestrian world let me explain to you how we learn and grow and as equestrians…

It all starts with that first horse, the kid tested and kid approved pony that maybe won’t move no matter what you do, but they also won’t react to anything, so you are perfectly safe with that pony and don’t have to worry about anything else but yourself and building your confidence on and off the horse.

Then eventually you’ll grow up even more and have to move on from that pony. You’ll maybe move to a horse or maybe onto another pony, either way, now comes the exciting part, you’ve mastered the poles and are comfortable cantering you are ready to start learning how to jump.

Now in case anyone was wondering jumping is my favorite thing in the whole world, it literally feels like you are flying no matter what height you are jumping whether it’s cross rails or three feet.

You start with cross rails, my first time jumping was an experience let me tell you. So I went into my lesson with my best friend Rosie and we had already walked, trotted and cantered, and gone over our poles at the trot, but then we see Pat setting up a cross rail with the poles we just went over. “She tells us don’t think about, pretend it’s the pole, stay the middle, release your hands forward over the jump and squeeze when you get about three strides out.” Rosie and I look at each other with nervous excitement. We’ve been waiting for this moment ever since we watched the older girls lesson and saw them jump. I nudge Chase into a trot and point him at the tiny jump in front of me like I did with the pole when I get close I give him an extra squeeze and he comes up to meet me in the air as he hops over the jump and I go into my two-point position which is basically where you get out of the saddle and bend slightly at the waist.  I remember I couldn’t stop smiling, when I come back down to a walk I tell Pat that “I felt like I was flying can I do it again?”

One of the most rewarding parts of horseback riding is mastering a new skill, learning and growing as an equestrian couldn’t be more rewarding because that is what you are striving for each and everytime you get on to fix just one flaw no matter how little because that is one more thing that will make you a better rider, and the different horses you get to ride and grow up with really all do teach you something a little different which is why you go in steps. Riding is a process, and you have to trust that the process will get you where you want to go and along the way they become some of your best parts of your life.