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Friday, October 31, 2008

And the horse go giddi-up

We've been really busy in the past week. Last week on Wednesday I rode a horse properly for the first time in my life. The only time I can remember ever riding a horse was back in the village when I was very little. As the road to the plantations ran along our land we always witnessed the villagers going up to their plantations and sometimes on their horses. So one day I waited on the road and asked one passerby if I could ride on his horse. The only saddle on that thing was an old brown cloth sack for coconuts. I must have been 9 or 10. Anyway that's the only memory I have of riding a horse until last week.
My friend Nicole who is the closest thing to an animal whisperer I know, had found out about the horse riding classes in Qurum and asked me to come along.
"It would be fun," she said. Her enthusiasm was contagious and the next thing I knew, I was up at 6.30am on a Wednesday morning with my son in tow (to stay with Nicole's sitter) while we go off to ride the horses.
So we get there and met other ladies. Three have experience with horses including my friend and there was one other lady and myself who were real beginners.
Anita the trainer said hello and showed us which horse to lead to the paddock. It was funny because I had no idea which rope or rein to grab in order to lead the horse. I told the trainer so, so she came and undid the knot from the fence and showed me what to do. I quickly asked her how to turn it left and right when I'm on it and she laughed and said, "that's what I'm about to show you once you're on the horses." Ha ha I thought I'd just be told it and I'm cool. My biggest fear to do with horses is falling off them. We lead our horses into the riding paddock and one by one Anita let us mount the horses using a mounting steps. I was excited but also concentrating on relaxing. I had it in my head that the horse can smell fear so I should relax and communicate this to the animal. Needless to say I was a bit stiff to begin with while trying to 'relax'. 20 minutes into the lesson I felt good. I was still a bit worried about falling off but I was enjoying the actual ride. It helped that the trainer kept reassuring me that I had the right posture which was good for a first timer.
We rode around in the paddock while learning how to hold and control the reins "literally". The next thing I knew the lesson was over and we were told to dismount. It was good fun but I was determined to learn more so I could enjoy the experience of riding a horse. I went again yesterday and that was good too so I'm looking forward to next week and would love to trot and see how that goes. I've banished the falling off the horse bit from my mind so I could just make the most of the lessons and riding.

During the lessons all I could think of were the lines to do with horse...'you can take the horse to the water... and one from Tofiga and Ete(Samoan/NZ comedians) and the horse go giddi-up.

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