Yesterday I took the first real step in my journey towards fulfilling my lifelong dream of owning a horse. I took my first riding lesson. During my marathon training I ran past Oak Hill Stables every long run and always thought it was a beautiful place. Yesterday morning mom and I headed out to talk to the owner about boarding and training. I love the owner’s philosophy – it’s all about being in tune with the horse and making sure that horse and rider are well matched. I’m starting off with lessons – each time I’ll ride a different horse so that I can start to get a feel for what I like or don’t like in a horse.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of riding Nike, a 16 hand Appaloosa. The measurement of a horses height is in hands with 1 hand = 4 inches. You measure from hoof to withers (basically the shoulder). That means Nike was 5’4″ tall, which is a big boy. Appaloosas are known for their very smooth gait, and let me tell you, this one was wonderful. He was smooth and easy to ride.
Mom got to ride a pretty little horse named Missy. We both had the best time – the lesson lasted two hours! We were shown how to saddle the horses, then we trailered them and drove to nearby Lake Tabeaud. We rode the whole three-mile loop around the lake and Dana (my trainer) taught me a bunch of the basics. When we were done we took them back to the ranch, unsaddled them, brushed them, and turned them out to the pasture.
By the time we were done, I was utterly exhausted from the excitement of it all. I honestly feel like this is something I was meant to do… I can’t even begin to explain how right it feels for me to be on a horse. I can’t wait to continue my learning experience and to then find the horse that is a perfect fit for me. I loved brushing Nike after we were done (his head got all droopy and he looked sleepy) and can’t wait to have my own horse to bond with. I’m so happy my mom came out to ride with me… I had such a wonderful time spending the day with her and sharing this milestone!
I can’t wait for next week’s lesson!!!