I’ve been taking riding lessons since June, 2004 and I started and the ripe old age of (gulp) 51.
I go every other week and my lessons are so much fun and, I might add, sorely needed (I have a habit of trying to hold on with my feet… in other words, not keeping my heels down, along with a few other bad habits that I’m trying to break.) I just love being around all the horses and the other riders at the barn that all share the same passion for these wonderful animals.
HorseGal tacking up her lesson horse
Barn aisleway view, another horse getting tacked up
My instructor, Kerry, is the absolute best. She’s SO easy going and a lot of fun to be around! And talk about knowledge! She teaches us more than just how to ride and I try to soak up everything she tells us. She is just so amazing and I really admire her. She grew up with horses and now has a couple of barns just full of them… 22 to be exact (some of those are boarders). She got her license to instruct 8 years ago and has 25 of us that she teaches and most of them are kids. She teaches both English and Western– most of the time BOTH disciplines during the SAME lesson at the SAME time, cueing the Western riders and English riders and she always knows exactly who’s doing what on which horse at any given moment. I don’t know how she does it.
For showing (which Kerry herself also does) she personally likes Western best. Kerry, a lot of her students and Kerry’s own kids (she’s a mom of 3) all show and do about 20 shows a year. There’s definitely a different feeling at the barn when show season starts up. I’m very excited to have Connie meet her and come to my lesson sometime when she is in town. Can you just imagine the knowledge between the two of them???!
HorseGal leads Mighte the quarterhorse out to arena for her riding lesson.
So, which of Kerry’s horses do I ride when I take my lesson, you wonder? Well, I’m glad you asked… You’ve given me a chance to tell you about Mighte!!! He is a stunning and wonderful 16.2 hand red chestnut quarter horse gelding. He was 8 when Kerry got him (now he’s 12) and in addition to being a lesson horse, he also shows! He is my (and Kerry’s!) absolute, hands down, no-doubt-about-it, favorite! I ride him whenever Kerry says I can tack him up (sometimes I ride others, which is great experience for me, although if Kerry asks me who I want to ride, I ALWAYS pick Mighte).
Preparing to mount…
His personality is wonderful; this horse will do anything you ask. His jog and his lope are like sitting in a rocking chair. I think Kerry would agree with me that this is really a dream horse. The other horses that I’ve ridden at Kerry’s are all really wonderful, but Mighte, he’s very special. He was also the very first horse I rode when I went for my first lesson. Maybe that’s one of the reasons he’s so special to me. I’ll never forget that day.
Mighte with HorseGal aboard, circling in the indoor arena
One of my favorite people at the barn is Andrea. She is in my lesson class and she goes a few times a week. She’s a mom like Kerry is. She is SO enthusiastic like I am about horses and riding. She’s a bit younger than I am and like Kerry, has been around horses all her life, but just two years ago started showing and taking lessons and has won 103 ribbons!! Isn’t that great?! She has won her ribbons on a few of Kerry’s horses. but her current steed is Leo and that’s who she’ll be showing on this year. Andrea rides and shows Western and Andrea is chomping at the bit already (sorry I had to say it!) waiting for the season to start. She is SO excited and I know she’ll have another awesome season!!
Note: Mighte was fresh last week! When I went into his stall to halter him so I could put him on the cross ties, he pinned his ears (waaay back) and walked away from me to the corner of his stall. When I went to him the second time, he again pinned his ears and I backed off again. I was standing midway between his back end and his head and he took a step towards me with his back end as if to say to me back off . So, I got Kerry and she said to not let him get away with that and she went right in to his stall and took care of business. She told me that when he does that, to just go right to his head and halter him even if he doesn’t like it.
by HORSEGAL, Guest Writer for Blog petArtistWithPeaches journal of Connie Moses, horse and pet artist