Rode a new school horse at the barn last night. He was owned by one of our riders for several years, but that rider decided to lease a nicer jumper and couldn’t have both… so Winston, a ~6 y/o OTTB is owned by my trainer now. He was actually very good for me to ride, because he is completely opposite Simon. Very behind my leg, short strided, and upsidown. Acts like he’s never been ridden leg to hand, and severe head tosses/giraffes when you ask for contact. Last night we just worked on moving FORWARD and doing stretchy trots with a long rein. I hope I get to ride him some more before one of the barn rats scoops him up. Now onto today’s topic!
I’m probably the slowest 30 day challenge blog writer ever. I keep interjecting with my own shit, so even though this is probably day 35 we’re just on 22. It’s hard for me to describe how important riding is to my life, because I’m not wholly myself without it.
There have only been one time in my life with no riding after I was able to start taking lessons at age 10. In Massachusetts, the cost of living was so high and I was making so little working that I couldn’t really afford to ride… which is ironic since I worked at a horse company during that time. For about 6 months I leased a nice Thoroughbred mare at an eventing farm, but it was my first time half leasing and I didn’t really see eye to eye with the owner.
With the lack of horses in my life, I supplemented with the model horse hobby… which was borderline obsessive and not super awesome. I’ll have to blog about that a different time. Without horses, I lashed out more and was generally unhappy. It sounds dramatic, but life didn’t seem quite right and I definitely wasn’t as happy.
For a long time my husband had some push back with my “hobby” because of how expensive horses are, but even though it’s taken us years we have a mutual understanding about it now. Horses make me happy (even when they don’t!) and they are a part of my life. It’s hard to say what riding means to me exactly, because it’s just a part of me.
If I had to boil it down to character traits, I’d say it has given me responsibility, drive, goals, and great amounts of self esteem. Everybody should have something that they love to do that offers the same.