I was back in the saddle, guys! And it was perfect.
I missed riding so much. It’s been five days and my saddle sores still haven’t healed and I don’t care! My last ride was more than six months ago and it was a horrible experience. (I only briefly mentioned it here.) I stopped riding regularly back in December. I still am facing challenges getting to a ranch for lessons. It’s mostly my lack of money and lack of access to a car.
This horse’s name is Hudson and he was such a sweet guy. I rode at My Saddle Brook Farm, and I highly recommend them. They were nice people, encouraging trainers, and had happy horses. Also, they were the lowest price in the area for a private lesson. They’re located about an hour and a half outside of Brooklyn.
Before I mounted Hudson, I was shaking with the fear of my last ride. But once I got in the ring, everything started coming back. It was seriously like riding a bike. My legs were a lot weaker, but I was still able to get in a decent amount of trotting. Hudson was a patient horse for putting up with my rusty maneuvers. Thanks Hudson!
And it was a gorgeous day for riding. I couldn’t have asked for a better day in the foothills of the mountains.
I had my first horse show last Saturday! Despite being incredibly nervous and more than clueless, I received a blue ribbon for my equitation class. I rode one of the lesson horses named Turkish Delight, also called Turkalicious, Turkelton, Turk-a-derk, or usually just Turk. Sorry for the photo dump. But come on, how cute is he?
I cannot even tell you how much I love this guy.
It was a chilly, foggy morning while we were warming up.
Here’s a few of us in the ring during the show.
The equitation class was just a walk/trot, but you know, we got a little fast.
And my friends drove all the way out to the country to see me perform. It was really touching.
I’m going to miss riding so much when I move to NY. I’ve already scoped out barns to try to ride in, but let’s be honest, equestrian is a rich white girl sport, and while I may have the income to do a few lessons in Tallahassee, it’s not very likely that I can afford it in NY. I’ve already investigated the cost and a one-hour private lesson is almost triple what I’m paying here.
I’ll also be unemployed for a while, mostly by choice, which means no health insurance, which definitely means no riding. I hope to pick it back up in March or April when I’m more settled and NY is warmer. Even though I’m discussing these obstacles, I don’t think anything can stop me from riding. I look forward to my lesson each week and leaving the ranch and the Iron Star Equestrian Team will be incredibly sad. In the mean time, I’ll always think back with great fondness about my first show and this dear horsey.
My friends and I went to Wakulla Springs State Park this weekend to cool off by the springs.
The Wakulla Springs are old, like Saber-Tooth old. They were home to our prehistoric ancestors. I’m fascinated that I have a chance to swim in the same waters they did
and walk in the same forests.
These days, I’m falling deeply in love with North Florida. It’s going to be a hard place to leave.
On Sunday, I continued with my equestrian lessons. So here are some gratuitous photos of that. These are the only photos where I don’t have a terrified look on my face, so I’m posting ’em!
I am having a blast at these lessons. I never grew out of my childhood “horse phase.”
Ok, so I sort of look like I’m about to fall off in this picture. I’m getting more comfortable and much faster. I can’t wait to start jumping over things.
And I love this horse. He’s such a sweetie!