Horseback Riding For Dummies

So I started a thing! Horseback riding lessons! My friend, Paige, (the same one who encouraged my new chicken mama life) has been taking lessons. She offered to gift me an intro lesson and even though, I had serious concerns about my lack of flexibility/strength/coordination, I went for it. And bonus: you’re pretty much guaranteed six feet distance when you are riding a horse!

The day came. After gushing, A LOT, at all the horses, I followed my trainer to the little ring for my lesson. I warned her that I don’t have a lot of leg strength and that I would probably have trouble getting on the horse. She seemed ok with it, not sure what she was really thinking but either way, she got me on the horse. I say “she” because she probably did more work than I did, haha. But, I was up there and I was ready!

As my daughter watched (because she didn’t even want to try), I listened to the instructions. They might as well have been in German. I didn’t get it. But, why would I? I was a total beginner. But, still I tried to direct Dixie the horse around the ring.

It was very stressful. Dixie kept shaking her head and I was freaking inwardly because I didn’t want to hurt her. So I would pull the reigns lighter and then the trainer would yell at me to follow directions. Now I know that she didn’t see it as yelling but she definitely was more of the the tough love type teacher.

About half-way through, I was frustrated and holding back tears. I had already whispered to Lizzie when I rode by that I would not try to convince her to ride anymore because it was awful. Then I decided I was done.

You gotta love the failed effort at a smile! Ha!

“I think I’m done. I’m not getting it and I’m just wasting your time.”My voice was shaking and I felt like I was in a cheesy hallmark movie with some title like “The Girl and The Horse.” Or maybe “The Girl Couldn’t Be Trained!” Sorry, I’m getting off track.

Anyway, as soon as I said that, her tone changed. She said something like “No, no. You can do this.” I think, in that moment, she realized that I am a delicate flower and need more posidftive reinforcement. And from that point on, she gave it to me. I finally asked about the head shaking and she explained that she was just shaking away flies. Oh! That changed everything. I started to get the hang of it and was actually disappointed when the lesson was over. But, that could have had something to do with the fact that I would have to figure out how to get off the horse…

After am awkward, not socially distanced enough dismount, I pet all of the other horses and watched them tack the horses. Then we headed out. Paige rewarded Lizzie and me with slushies (I’m not sure how Lizzie earned that but whatever! ) and I went home determined to make lessons happen.

(I’ve gotten two more lessons under my cowgirl belt since then so be sure to check back for more awkward Emily and horse adventures!)

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