Back in the saddle: Who says it’s always pleasant?

Picture from

Picture from Horse & Hound website

The Easter break is over at last, and lessons in the Trent Valley have resumed for our riding club. I was excited and looked forward to working on my trot and also hoped I could learn how to canter -which happened unexpectedly. What is more, I planned to speak to Laura about my thoughts about getting to the BHS helper certificate over the summer.

But Wednesday’s session was not ideal. When we arrived in the arena, I was given an uncooperative, old fart (old fart because he was old and was farting all the time), strong stallion. It was obvious from the first moment that it was not his day. Plus, why cooperating with a lady who couldn’t get his name right? He wouldn’t stand even my pats.

Eventually, we all got into the saddle and the lesson started. My stallion was not very happy to be ridden. So, what was he doing? He started dragging me across the arena! You know, a square or triangle instead of a circle. He preferred to have his mouth broken, than opening the circle. I started pulling the reigns towards the outer side, but he was refusing. My arms hurt so much! Eventually, I started practicing my Cretan way of making the horse go to the direction I want. This way is simple, although it takes time for the brain to get used to it. When we pull the one side of the reign, we slightly lift the other side. This will make my request clear, and, if I rise my the reign higher, I will “lock” the horse’s neck, preventing it from dragging me to the opposite direction. But even this “lock” was not working, I’m afraid, since the horse I was riding was far too strong! Laura insisted that I pulled harder. Poor horse, I didn’t want to do that, but no matter how hard I was pulling, he wouldn’t give up! Finally, I found a way about that. Pulling the outside reign as hard as I could (sadly), while holding the inside reign as high as I could, leaning it towards the horse’s neck as strongly as I could.

But if only it that was it. He would not trot either. Every attempt for a trot took countless strong kicks. In one of my attempts to get him moving, he got angry and started cantering across the arena. I yelled “whatever” merrily and enjoyed the ride! The terrifying thing was that the horse wasn’t wearing his extra and it was the first time I had cantered properly, without assistance. But I managed to stop him at least.

Ah, yes, I forgot about the farts. Oh, my God! He was constantly farting. Each fart would be as long as an eathquake and would smell like, well, I can’t describe it. I felt that we were going to take off like rockets or something!

Laura eventually gave me a whip, which I used and also took the long whip that trainers use in order to… you know, “motivate” the horses, as none of them could bother! Of course, mine was the laziest!

In the end, finally the horses started moving, we started practicing the canter, which had been my desire for so many months. And while I had been quite relaxed earlier, when my stallion was crazy, when I realised what I was going to do when my turn came, I got terrified! The distance we had to cover cantering was not so long, but I just panicked! The only thing I remember from that canter was myself grabbing the front of the saddle and holding on!

The whole thing ended in so much pain for me! Even now, 40 hours after the lesson, I am in terrible pain. My thighs, my arms, my shoulders, my neck and my my back had been hurting since I got off that damn saddle!

That’s for now! Time to go to bed!

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