Thursday, 7 April 2016

Horse riding: First Lesson in the Field

Horse riding is something I have always loved doing but when we moved to Manchester and I had the choice of hobby, I picked cheerleading whilst my Sister went back to riding. I love dancing and the gymnastics side of cheerleading offered me the chance to perform dance routines and stunts which I loved. Performing in the MEN Arena before the Manchester Giants basketball team came on court was one of the greatest achievements from my cheerleading days. But I do wonder how I would have got on had I carried on with horse riding.

When Miss C decided that Karate wasn't for her and she wanted to try her hand at horse riding, I was super excited for her. And for me. I loved watching her going from strength to strength, perfecting her rising trot, taking on jumps and being confident enough to go into canter without holding on to her saddle. It made me want to get back in the saddle and try riding again.

And so I did. Horse riding as an adult is completely different from riding as a child. Firstly, you don't have that lack of fear that you do as a child. A huge jump or gallop wouldn't have phased me when I was Miss C's age but now; it kind of terrifies me a bit. But my confidence is improving with every lesson and, as long as I don't come off and really hurt myself, I think horse riding will become a big part of my life again.

A few weekends ago, it was such a beautiful morning and we headed out to the field for a hack. It was my first time outdoors on a horse in years but it was amazing. I used to love going out for hacks as a child. I will always remember the trail we took from the stables, down to the beach and back. My Sister once fell asleep on her horse whilst we were out a hack but it goes to show just how comfortable she felt whilst riding.

My favourite part of the lesson was going for a canter. Because it was my first time on the field, one of the girls lead me to the top of the field, turned my horse, Barney, and then let me go myself. It was so much fun and I felt brave enough to take my hands off the saddle and just ride. After a few turns in the field, we all headed back to the school and put our very tired horses to bed.

I am really enjoying being back horse riding. At the moment I'm only going once a month but I think I will increase the amount I go once I'm working full time, maybe to once a week or at least once a fortnight like Miss C. It's so good to have something for myself as a hobby to enjoy again.

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