Monday morning Cindy and I had our weekly riding lesson. We ride horses. Cindy rides English style and I ride Western. She says the English style makes her feel closer to the horse,(the saddle is smaller), and I like Western because of Roy Rogers and John Wayne. When I get the nuances of Western down, I'll give English a try...but that will be awhile.
It has taken me many months of riding to develop any type of mastery feelings in this venture. In fact, I don't truly feel mastery yet - but I'm closer. Much closer. I can tack up and groom with confidance now. I used to be so afraid I'd get it all wrong and hurt the horse. Sometimes I still get the bridle twisted out of its proper shape. Both the horse and I stand there wondering what the hell I was doing to her face.
I have been working with a licensed trainer and lessons are an hour long. I'm glad I did it this way because Sara has had me build skill and talent through a patient plan. She majored in Behavioral Science and is quite adept at helping people (and animals) monitor and change their behavior. I have never felt judged badly by anyone at the stable, except by myself. Always uplifting, patient and kind. I've had a glimpse of other people's dramas from time to time, but - such is life.
I began riding because it is something I have always wanted to do. When I was 4 years old we had neighbors who had horses. They would go for rides fairly often and ride by our house. We lived in Sacramento at the time. (or was it Fair Oaks?) Anyway - I remember standing on the corner where they would pass by on their way home from their rides. I was too shy to speak, but I figured if I looked cute enough - they would see me and know that I wanted to ride.