In the way that a Klingon feels happy after he’s been beaten with a pain stick

September 13th, 2007

One week ago tonight I took my first riding lesson since my accident. It was great fun, although it was a long, hot, sweaty lesson. The ground was too soggy to ride outside, so I had to ride in the indoor arena; even at 6 PM, it was still 93 degrees with high humidity. I came home physically beat, but happy as a clam.

The horse I usually ride, a big mare named Patience, had been recovering from a mysterious lameness, and it was decided she probably shouldn’t be carrying a load my size. Instead I rode Samson, a black gelding even bigger than Patience. Sam is enormous, but has a mild disposition, and is very forgiving of clumsy riders like me. He was a little nervous at first, having a new rider on his back, but after a short time we got along just fine.

Last week we did nothing but trotting. I did a little work on my 2-point stance and went across the trotting poles more times than I could count. I rode for an hour, from the time I got on until the time I dismounted, but that included ten minutes of warm-up and cool-down time just walking. I hadn’t thought I would be able to go that long on my first lesson after so long an absence from the barn, but I managed by taking lots of water breaks. I was thoroughly exhausted by the time I was done.

Tonight was even better. After some trotting, Genna asked me if I was interested in trying to canter. I said yes, and the sooner the better. I wanted to try right away before I got too tired. Getting a horse into the canter requires some coordination, and that’s easier for me when I’m not so tired.

I was afraid it would take me a long time to get Sam into his canter. When I had learned to canter on Patience, I had to try many, many times over the course of eight to ten weeks before I finally managed to learn how to do it. Sam, fortunately, is easier to get going, and I was able to get him into his canter on the very first try. It wasn’t pretty but I did it. We cantered a number of times in each direction before he and I finally both gave out… tired, though not so bad as last week. My technique still isn’t great, but I made progress tonight, and I hope to get to work on the canter again next week… and maybe a little jumping.

2 Responses to “In the way that a Klingon feels happy after he’s been beaten with a pain stick”

  1. Ginger Says:

    I have nothing useful to say but I love the title, I know exactly what you mean. Well, not exactly, but, yeah. Heh.

  2. Leigh Ann Says:

    I remember Samson — he is HUGE!