Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dreams do come true sometimes!

This would probably sound pretty silly to my friends, but I just this evening realized that another childhood dream has come true for me.

Owning a horse is a fabulous thing that I never in a million years would have thought possible. But there's something even more amazing to me: I can ride a horse. Not just stay on while it moves, but actually ride.

And I seem to be pretty good at it, which is actually the part that doesn't surprise me. Riding seems to be more like "remembering how" than like learning a new skill. Plus, I'm a dancer, and my balance is good and my sensitivity is pretty finely tuned.

My form may not be the best--I'd sure never win any prizes in a competition!--but it's effective in that the horses respond to my confidence and do pretty much what I ask them to do. And when they don't, it doesn't worry me. I'm no longer fretting all the time about getting dumped off.

I was riding Galahad bareback today around the ranch, and he was being his usual frisky self. We had several "discussions" about whether he would turn a certain way, or if he really and truly had to go back to the arena barn instead of to his stall, or if he could maybe get me to get off his back by tossing his head and threatening to buck. It didn't occur to me to get off, and in each case he eventually did what he was asked.

We practiced going from a standstill to a trot, and by the time we quit he would do it in three strides. Eventually he'll take off at a trot, but for now, I'm happy. And all of this was bareback, remember.

I noticed a number of folks watching us. Do I dare admit that I was pleased by the attention?

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