Other than a few short rides in the arena (mostly bareback and at a walk), Cornelius hasn't been worked for over a year. The whole dressage thing was so difficult for both Corny and myself, that when Mary (my trainer) became too busy to give lessons, I just stopped riding. And felt terrible about it (but not so terrible that I'd get my butt on the horse and do some riding). So when Mary called me out of the blue last week and told me that she was going to get Corny going as a Western horse (no more dressage -- which he hated) and get me going as a Western rider (no more dressage -- which I avoided). Her goal is to get him used to walking out and about, down the road and off on trails. She wants us both out of the arena and off having fun together instead of endless drilling in the arena. Corny's had 3 lessons with her so far (I missed these because I was in school) and I got my first one yesterday.
Mary rode first to get Corny warmed up and to give me a refresher course on how to ride Western (it's been over four years since I've even sat in a Western saddle). Naturally, she made it look easy. Corny was very good and remembered everything they've been working on.
When it was my turn, I remembered exactly how wide Corny is -- like straddling an extra-wide sofa. Even as Mary was commanding me to relax and settle deep in the saddle, my knees and hips were screaming, "Ow, ow, ow -- get off right now, you stupid woman!" I gritted my teeth and stuck it out (that horse is getting back on his diet, though).
|Note the angle of my thighs -- I'm doing the splits up there|
However, despite a bit (!) of pain, I was supremely happy to be back up on my big lug of horse again.
|Can you tell that Mary lets me get away nothing?|
All I did was walk and trot. I'd forgotten how to sit the trot and bounced around in the saddle like a beginner (more complaining from my hip joints), but it was wonderful to be back on a horse.