What an experience! I think the memory will linger with me for quite a while- as the soreness seems to be doing. It's been 6 days already, since the ride, and my thighs are STILL aching!!! Says something about my level of fitness, isn't it? :D
Well, to begin with, I had a bay horse with bad teeth- he ate for the whole day because he could only eat a little bit a time! Oh yes, and his name is Irish. I thought he didn't look like a stubborn sort of horse- he was calmly eating his hay when I arrived. But I was wrong!! He refused to heed the reins at all, but keep going straight when I wanted him to turn right!!! It was hilarious all right, except not at that time. His head was faced to the extreme right to accomodate the reins but his body kept going straight ahead! ugh. After those few spiffs we had, however, he turned out to be quite a decent sort of beast, albeit a dirty one.
His brown coat was matted with dried mud- I longed to hose him down with a firehose, (except there were no hydrants to be found anywhere close) and scrub him! As it was, his winter coat was coming off at each srub of the brush, and I had to clean the brush after about 10 scrubs! It was that bad! I remember thinking to myself, "Thank God I do not lose this amount of hair everytime I brush it- or I'll be bald in less than 2 days!!! Absolutely bald!" And I'm NOT exaggerating either.
I learnt to direct the horse (when he was compliant of course) and trot. I'm actually quite pleased with the amount I managed to do in one lesson. Trotting was something new, and it took a bit getting used to. At first, I felt like beans being bounced in a frying pan. (If there really is such a phrase.) But soon got used to the tactic of pushing myself up every second 'beat' of the horse's trotting rhythm.
Mum insisted on my wearing jeans, when before I was wearing trackpants, so during the trotting, the jeans rubbed against the side of my knee, causing a slight abrasion. That really hurt.
The thing that I was really happy about my horse was that it excelled the other 2 ponies in 'jumps'. Ok, ok... they were not really jumps, just hurdles to step over, which is just what Irish did. :) But he outshone the other model ponies there. :P
I was really worried about dirtying myself. There was horse poo all over the place. We were practically walking on it, as the poo got smushed together with mud, forming something like muck. It was yucky, but I suppose I have to get used to it. :D The horses just poo all over the place! I saw mine do one- before I knew he was to be the horse I would ride, that is. eek.
I really look forward to going horse riding again. It's really something to experience after reading all the 'horse' books, even though sometimes imagination is a lot better than reality. No dirt, muck, sweat or stink. Even the horses are models! But I wouldn't have traded one dream for the reality though. It's just something new, and unique. Now I know what Shasta/Cor in The Horse and His boy (by C.S. Lewis) felt like after the first day of riding. I used to think he was a softie. One day's riding and he couldn't move??? What about climbing up the horse? He climbed up as if hee were a haystack!But when faced with reality, I realized that the horse seems to be twice the size when you attempt to climb up, and the bruises and aches last a lifetime compared to imagination.