This past weekend was the first weekend I didn’t worry about getting things done around the house since we’ve moved. My parents came to visit and we spent out time exploring the city and taking it all in. In a lot of ways, it was as if I was seeing the city for the first time. Winter was so long and grey. Then I wasted the first bits of Spring in Uhauls and unpacking boxes. Walking through Brooklyn I was taken aback by how green everything was.
I had some great adventures with my parents. We saw the 9/11 memorial and headed to the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum (absolutely recommend). Of course, we stopped by the Museum of Natural History, which is my favorite place on Earth. On a foggy day, we walked over the Brooklyn bridge.
After they left, I decided I needed some serious “me time.” I booked a two-hour long trail ride out in Long Island on the Old Westbury trails through Big River Barn.
Isn’t he the most handsome? I can only afford to ride once or twice a month, but I think this might be the barn for me. It’s only a 45 min. train ride away. They focus on horsemanship, which works on communicating with horses by becoming familiar with their behaviors, instincts, and personality. So, I won’t be doing work in the ring, but I will get to experience what it’s like to be on a horse outside of a ring, so it’s a bit more practical.
I still feel very much like a beginner, so I appreciate any time on a horse. Ultimately, the only thing that matters is making sure the horse is comfortable and we’re both having fun.
At some point, I hope to get back in a ring, but I’m not sure that’s feasible for me in NYC. This was my first trail ride, and it’s completely different from anything I’ve done before – running up hills and down valleys, through trails with fallen trees, and being the only people around for miles.
Isn’t he just the most handsome?
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.