This past week I was on my way home from flying when I went past this pair of horses. I stopped my car and backed up to take a picture of the two. I sat for a long time and watched to two horses and they stood and watched me. While I sat in my car and watched I thought back to my junior year in college.
Shortly after Christmas my Mom told me that she would be sending me some money to do something fun. She said that she didn’t want me to spend it on school. I thought about for a few days and I finally decided that I would sign up for riding lessons at a nearby college. I had never been on a horse in my life. I lived in the city growing up and always thought that it would be exciting to learn how to ride a horse.
I researched when the classes would be and signed up for riding lessons. It came time for the first riding lesson. It was on a Saturday morning at 8 am. What college student in their right mind signs up for a class at 8 am on a Saturday morning. I usually worked as a prep cook at an Italian restaurant until 2 am on Friday and Saturday evenings. I got myself out of bed and drove a half hour to my lesson and arrived about 10 minutes early.
I asked for directions to where my class was and they directed me to the stable and said I would find my instructor there. I walked over to the stable and walked inside. There must be some mistake I thought as I looked around the room. I was the only adult in the room except for the instructor. The rest of the students were all elementary age students. I thought that the class would be beginning college age students not elementary age students. So much for asking all the right questions. I pride myself on being prepared. I wasn’t ready for this. Once we started the class the age difference didn’t seem to be important. We were all learning to do something we wanted to do from someone who wanted to teach us about horses.
Learning about saddling a horse was all new to me. I had one advantage over the younger students, my height. I could lift my saddle up on the horse without help while the younger students struggled to hoist their saddles up. My instructor taught us about English riding. It was fun learning to do something I had always wanted to do. Each Saturday morning for twelve weeks I got up and headed over for my lesson. It was rough after working so late but the fresh air was wonderful. My lessons were in the winter time and many mornings we rode in the indoor arena but the best lessons were when we bundled up and headed outside and rode on the nearby wooded trails.
I haven’t been on a horse since my lessons in nearly 28 years but I can still remember the feeling of accomplishment having learned something new. There is a new horse back riding arena just outside of town. Seeing those horses this past week have ignited a desire in me to ride again but not wait 28 years for the one after that.