I have been looking for some opportunities with trainers closer to home to get some more structured saddle time. As in lessons. While I am able to ride Sheri’s grumpy Connemara TBx whenever I wish, being in any kind of regular lesson program is something I have been desperately missing.
In my area there aren’t a ton of barns that have many lesson horses (see cost of living) for the more “advanced” (not just the up down kids) students so I had reached out to a few with good reputations and came up with zilch. If I wanted to ride with them I needed to be either leasing a horse, which none were available, or on my own and they do not travel so I would need to ask Sheri to haul me and her horse to whatever farm for a lesson. Which is something I’m not willing to ask, she has enough going on without pity hauling her pony all over the place for me.
So I called my #1. The woman who started it all and has been the single most influential person in my life thus far. Probably will hold that title until my death to be honest. I started riding with her at about 11 years old, then stopped when I went to college, then graduated, came back and rode with her again in my early 20’s, then left and rode elsewhere for a bit, bought my own ponies, and now here we are again.
Home again home again jiggity jig.
Tr #1 (also has a J name but that’s just too confusing) has a high school student who owns a horse but is unable to come out as often as she wants, and therefore this little monster is available for extremely flexible partial leasing and lessons. SIGN ME UP.
I was around when the kid purchased this little dude and I just remember seeing him and thinking that he just had the most glorious tail I’d ever seen and I loved him immediately.
Max is about 15.2, age….maybe early teens? I’m not totally sure on that though so don’t quote me. He is a Morgan who has been mainly a pony clubber horse from what I understand, and he rides just like a pony.
Our first lesson could not have come on a better day, it was one of those days where you just kind of want to curl into the fetal position and whine for an unknown amount of time. It was mainly a getting to know you type deal with some microscopic (small because I requested it!!) jumps thrown in as well as a gallop up a hill by the arena. Immediate attitude adjustment on my part. All it takes is getting my butt in a saddle and it’s like a switch flips and I’m no longer encumbered by a dark cloud.
So I came away with the following notes:
1: I know intellectually what to do and what body parts to put where to get x results. My body however has other plans it seems.
2: Suddenly my confidence is super low, when did this happen? Here’s hoping it will get built right back up in no time.
3: Max rides somewhat similar to Alley Oops. He has a major right shoulder bulge and he kind of has that pony attitude where you can tell he might test you a bit with some nappiness and a crow kick here and there but nothing that bothers me or I can’t correct.
4: Despite my terrible piloting he jumped whatever I got him in front of. Granted nothing was over 2′ so we will see how that goes as the heights creep up. Tr #1 laughed at me when I told her to make things super small and I know she will have me back cruising around 3′ in short order.
I am really excited to be back in lessons/leasing and Max seems like a super fun little guy, albeit the exact opposite of Phoebe. There are a few other horses there that I might be getting some saddle time on as well, and the more the better!