You know those girls in middle school who drew horses all over their planners and told everyone that they rode horses on the weekends and planned to own horses when they grew up? I was one of them. Except I didn't ride, or planned to own any when I grew up. I just simply have always loved horses. From the second I was born, I am pretty sure I was dreaming about them...
My first word was horse, except I called it “Howee.”
As I grew, so did my love of the exquisite creatures. During my free time, I often fantasized that I was a beautiful woman riding a stallion named either April or Dolores, my two favorite names as a little child (don’t ask).
If I ever had the opportunity to be near a horse, I was so happy that all I could do was stand there, too excited to do anything.
So, you can imagine how thrilled I was when I saw horses on the drive back from the airport my first few hours in Copenhagen.
Seeing how beside myself with joy (no pun intended) I was, my host family kindly offered to take me along with my 10 year old host sister to her horse back riding lesson, where I could try joining her class.
One week later:
I was so distracted by the wonderful smell of horses once we got to the stable..
that it didn’t occur to me that I would be riding with a bunch of 8 to 10 year old girls.
But it didn't matter. I was too excited.
There was 11 of us all together, crammed into one arena. The horse I was given was named “Bacardi.” There was no teacher, so it was pretty much a free for all.
For the first five minutes, I felt comfortable walking my horse around in circles. Then one girl decided to have her horse gallop around, and that inspired my horse to speed up a little.
My experience being on a horse is pretty limited--I started taking lessons at a stable near my college last year, but they were 25 minute lessons, and I was still at the stage of feeling super proud trotting.
Bacardi wasn't trotting, he was cantaring fast. I tried slowing him down, but he wouldn't have it. Apparently, the other horse had something that he really needed, because it became a chase.
Yelling "no!" just made him go faster, so I tried some Danish...
But that didn't help either. I felt my feet slipping out of the stirrups. I was gripping onto the reins for dear life. I started saying my goodbyes.
Finally, after what felt like 8 years, I was able to get Bacardi to slow down. I was too traumatized to even have the horse walk, so I parked him in the middle of the arena. I could feel him breathing fast through the saddle. He stomped his foot a few times and let out a sigh, but after about ten minutes of no instructions from me, he relaxed a little and so did I. I got up the courage to have him walk around the arena a few more times, and then the lesson was over.
I was thinking I wouldn't go back there....but Holly keeps reminding me I could try a different horse, or join the class of 5-6 year olds... so I think I'll be giving it another try soon. After all, I still love horses.