About me and this Blog

I am a woman of a certain age who has finally been able to enjoy my love of horses Initially to ride them but as time has gone on I have learnt there is more to horses than riding them and want to share this with you.

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Sunday, 6 May 2012

How Welcome you would be!

Because I ride in the week, I have never been up to the Stables on a Saturday before.  I went this morning because I just couldn’t wait until Monday, Oh, things are getting bad! It will be every day next.

The atmosphere at the yard was different, there were more people around than usual, you know those little people, children. They clearly knew their way around horses. They were happily getting on with tasks, chatting and handling the ponies with ease.

Toby, on trial, he's beautiful
I joined a Saturday morning regular (adult) and we had a good lesson, the new horse “Toby” was brought in and joined us with “Jim” (Jemima) one of the young girls riding him. Hayley has him on trial. So far she has had his back “done” lunged him and sorted out his saddle, etc... This was his first session with other horses in the school. Jim looked so tiny on his back, yet handled him beautifully.

Hayley said that if Toby worked out he would be my next “challenge” 17 hands of muscle. Wow, just when I was feeling “comfy” with Oscar, Hayley’s talking about the next stretch!

As we finished our lesson the group of children led their ponies down for theirs and I watched them for a while. They were so good, honestly they put me to shame. I certainly wouldn’t be worthy of riding alongside them, I have the grace of an elephant with clogs on! It was very humbling to watch them gliding around the school.

I give myself a pat on the back just for trying. (Hayley would say I am very trying, of course). It’s easy to dream and let opportunities pass you by, worrying you will fail or look silly. But I can’t express how much finally doing this has meant to me. I really don’t care if I look silly, why should I? That is liberating, not to be so self conscious. Its not entirely ego less as there is a battle going on of course. The little girl craving attention comes out, when I get it right, “look at me.”  What am I like? Still I feel in the main I have surrendered to the task and loose myself in it.

Humility is good for the soul and not being good at something and having to take instruction even better. Children, on the whole expect to be shown how to do things and accept new ideas readily. I had got to the age when I was used to knowing what I was doing and “showing” others how to do “stuff.” Perhaps as we get older we get less  comfortable accepting direction. Is that why dreams stay just that? I don’t want to sound arrogant, in suggesting I can inspire others, I just want to share this, because I have discovered it’s good to challenge yourself, good to fail and pick yourself up and eventually succeed at something difficult.

Getting over a threshold can be the hardest part, of starting anything new and if you want to start riding but feel held back. I want to put a smart boot to your behind and push you over the doorstep.  Don’t feel daunted you will be welcomed with open arms.

 (PS finding an  accredited riding centre in your area is easy search  Association of British Horse Riding)


Lorraine Jennings said...

Hi Alison, I'm a huge fan of positive thinking and it seems you have it in bucketfuls. You can't fail in your mission! Good on you for encouraging others to give it a go too.
Looking forward to your next ride. Lorraine

Rebekah Leigh said...

Hi Alison, loved your post, I started back again last year after 5 years out of the saddle, and I realized I've gone from horse confident, jumping everything having no fear to being nervous of popping a 2ft fence and not confident around the yard..When I first started back I felt so silly waiting for riding lessons with (mainly)children around but I soon learn't to swallow my pride and it has been so so worth it.I now have a cob on part loan and ride as much as possible. I'm still nervous of the tiny fences though and so amazed at the confidence of the children at the yard.I just try to remember that I used to be like that too. Enjoy your riding! goodluck with Toby!!

Alison Barton said...

Thanks Lorraine lovely to get your support(I know how busy you must be) it means a lot.

Alison Barton said...

Thanks Rebekah, I think you got it spot on. But by swallowing your pride you are benefiting. What progress you've made as well great isn't it? and thanks for reading
Alison x