I grew up in a city with parents who knew little to nothing about horses. I’ve always been the kind of person who loves every animal I laid eye on, so they let me start in riding school when I turned 7.
There, I was taught a lot of things…
Let the horse know who’s the boss!
He’s just being dumb, whip him!
Shorten the reins! You gotta have 1kg in each hand!
These were things I was told over and over again. At one point, I refused to whip my pony when he didn’t wanna trot. It ended up with the riding teacher picking up a wooden board that was laying around in the paddock for some reason and hitting him over his back with it, just behind the saddle. Of course, the pony panicked. He ran around and bucked until I flew off. I think that was the point where I grew a bit unsure while riding. I remember crying every time I was about to go to the stables for my weekly lesson, my parents had to force me. Once I was there, it was usually fine since it was my only way of spending time with horses – and I love horses.
I never really liked riding though.. Not like that.
In my riding group, I was pretty much an outsider. The other girls were really focused on the riding and honestly didn’t really see the horses as more than something you ride on. They would get praised by the instructor when the horse bent it’s neck – even though they pulled one rein at the time and ”sew” the horses head like that.
After 3 or 4 years of that, I finally switched to another riding school. There I had a much better instructor and I was taught to be fair to the horse, even though it was still a lot about leadership and being the one in control.
When I was 13, we found out I had become allergic to animals. I had to give my cat away and quit riding. That was easily the hardest time in my life. I, who had loved animals since I was born, couldn’t be around them anymore.
Luckily, my allergies turned out to get better through the years. (Thank god!) So when I was 17 or 18, I started riding again. This time, on a private horse.
That was the beginning of my new, improved horse life.
I’ll continue the story in another post, another day.
Me (on the pony) and my relative who we visited a couple times a year. She’s always had horses and I was SO excited to go there every time!