I took a big step today and went to the Edinburgh University Equestrian Club’s open day to have a lesson. I haven’t had a lesson in around 2 years, in fact, I haven’t had consistent lessons since I was at college when I was 17 years old. At that time I had two lessons a week- one jumping and one flatwork. I did really enjoy it and I was at my best in my riding capabilities but being a student teacher is a busy affair and over the past however many years I just haven’t had the time.
The lesson today went really well. I had to wait a little longer for my horse because he was getting his feet done by the farrier but when he was brought round he practically bounced into the arena, I thought ‘eek, I always get the feisty ones’. He was a big grey, probably around 16.3hh (which is giant for me, let’s just bear in mind Bo is 14.2hh people, the air is definitely thinner up on that size of horse in comparison!). His name was Major. He looks to me like an Irish Draft or perhaps a cross between that and something else. He was quite the handful though and he fussed a lot with his head or just in general and was very forwards but I like that in a horse.
It took him a few laps to settle but he did eventually, until we started canter which is just his very favourite gait. He bounced his way round, sideways, which was quite impressive. After working him out on one rein, the second canter was much straighter and settled so I was pleased with that.
Then it was onto jumping. The instructor had set up 3 fences in a combination, with the middle fence being slightly off to the right. What we had to do was do multiple combinations and lines between 2 jumps, to really test the control we had. Major didn’t like the idea of missing out a jump, it was a logical line for him I guess he thought, so the first time he went over the first, then the middle and then swerved over to do the last one. I was prepared for him the next time though and by the end we were jumping certain fences without being locked onto other ones which was great!
Before the lesson I was so worried about looking like a potato and I was quite nervous as I don’t generally ride other horses aside from Bo. I do feel though that it is definitely helpful to ride other horses regularly to keep your versatility and ensure you’re always improving. I was pleasantly surprised at the core strength I still have and the fact that I actually felt good and balanced, so not half as bad as I thought I would be!
Safe to say I think I’ll be going back! Maybe not every week because its quite expensive but every second week or so perhaps!