Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Arabians, the Quarter Horses, and the Journey Part 2

The story begins here..

I bounded out of the car and we met my instructor. She was young, in boots and a sweatshirt, and had blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail. She led me down to the small older barn (at that time, there was only one barn, about eight stall if I remember correctly. Now the facility has grown exponentially into an additional twenty stall (if not more) barn and covered arena.). It was dark and dank, but I didnt notice as we came around there corner. Horses heads poked out of the stalls and there was my mount in the cross ties.

He was a dark bay Appaloosa with a white blanket on his rear. I honestly cannot remember his name, but it was fitting for his Appaloosa heritage. My instructor helped me tack him up and I learned how to lead a horse as we walked him down to their outdoor arena. She taught me basic ground safety and finally helped me aboard.

As she depicted correct head and footwear, I felt embarrassed as I looked down at my feet which were sporting socks in sandals. Not the correct heeled boots as she described. But my head was safe in a provided helmet. She told me to keep my heels down, and taught me how to correctly hold the reins and steer. The old lesson horse was a champ and quietly ignored my uneducated hands and legs.

She took us out of the arena to their trail head. My instructor, my Mother, and my Sister all walked alongside me and my steed as we wound our way through the short trail. My instructor taught me how to lean back down hills, and lean forward going up. I took everything in that she told me and tried my hardest (did I mention I was always a straight A perfectionist student?).

Quickly the lesson was over and we were back on our way home. I was eladed and had experienced the best birthday I had ever had. I thought I had cracked my Mother finally, and that I would be on schedule to finally get consistent lessons from this facility. But my Mother firmly told me that that was not going to happen. This was just a birthday present, horses were too expensive.

So my doodles and dreams of horses continued. And I ponderd other ways that I could have horses in my life. My brother got interested in dirtbiking and would explore trails for hours. One day he came home and told me he found a place with horses, he would take me the next day if I wanted. I was excited. We scrambled off the schoolbus and let the dog out. My brother had another motorcylce helmet for me, and we loaded up on the little Yamaha and took off. We wound through the trails for about ten or fifteen minutes, with a plastic shopping bag filled with grass rippings from our yard for the horses.

We arrived and there was a beautiful black horse holding his head over the fence (I later learned his name as Ammadan [pronounced Ah-mah-dawn]. I hand fed him the grass and soon a few more horses came to the fence to investigate. I enjoyed those few moments before my brother got bored and wanted to go back home. We continued this sherade for another month or so. Each time I brought a plastic bag filled with grass. Soon, we got the courage to go up to the big farm house and ask for what, we werent quite sure. I chickened out the first three trys or so, always having my brother take us back home. But finally, one day I decided I would approach someone.

There were two girls riding white horses (actually, a fleabitten one and a grey) in the indoor arena. I approached them asking who the owner was and where I might find him. The rider told me his name was J (this is what I will call him) and pointed me in the direction of his house. My brother and I nervously walked up to the front porch and knocked on the door.

Part 3


Molly said...

I like this story! Can't wait to read the rest! :)

I remember the first time I ever really rode a horse by myself. We always had an ol' quarter horse, junebug, but I was never allowed to ride him. My brother's had a birthday party and my mom got a pony and horse to come. I rode that pony and taught myself how to ride! His name was one-eyed-jack. Yep, he had one eye! He was the sweetest thing! They wouldn't let me ride the 'big horse', Captain, a flea bitten grey. Such good memories!

Story said...

I think only us horse nuts can understand the emotion here. Like if I read this to Husband he'd probably be like "huh?"