Wednesday, July 11, 2012

First Lesson

Today was my first lesson over at Hummingbird Hill Farm. I was so excited all day long. And what a long long day it felt like! I wasn't very busy, so I was just watching the clock tick by until finally it was 6:00, I grabbed my helmet, boots and car keys and off I went to be at the barn for 6:30. Did I mention how very slowly that clock ticked by?
Today Katie put me on her own personal horse, also named Katie. Confusing huh? Trainer Katie says that Katie the horse came with her name and she didn't bother to re-train her to a new name. She's a pretty girl, the colour of a new copper penny with white roan markings on her belly and legs, and white socks. I learned how to groom her, and how to tack her up, and then we led her across to the arena. We started the lesson on the lunge line at a walk, then after I was feeling pretty comfortable Katie wanted to give me a bit of a challenge so we worked at a jog for about 15 minutes. For those of you non-western folks a jog is the same gait as a trot, they just name it differently. Then we took it back down to a walk and she unclipped the lead. Now we were walking free on our own. We kept it to a walk off the lunge line for today, which is just as well. It was a fairly short jog but made me aware of parts of my legs I didn't know I had before. I really have some inner thigh strengthening to do. Katie the horse is trained to "go" with heel bumps, and to stop with a squeeze. By the end of the lesson it was a pretty feeble squeeze and I was thankful that she also responds pretty well to the voice. Then we walked her back to the barn, stripped her down and groomed her again. I spent a solid hour in the saddle and loved every second of it. I can't wait for my next lesson!!
Next time we'll be joined by another woman who's skills are about my speed as well, which will be fun because I get to see visually what she's doing wrong and have a better sense of how to correct my own body. I'm kind of a visual learner.
10 sleeps until I'm in the saddle again!

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