Adventures in (Resuming) Ponyhood, Pt. II

First Riding Lesson: Complete

Verdict: Yay!

Current Status: OMG, PONY!!!

Ahem.

Must contain myself.

Before getting to the barn yesterday I was pretty nervous. How much would I remember? Would I look like a total idiot? Would the trainer like me? More importantly, would the HORSE like me?

Turns out, items 1, 3, and 4 were just fine. Item 2? Well, that’s part of the fun.

My lesson horse was a mostly sweet Tobiano paint gelding, with a little bit of grumpiness. I get him. His name is Perfect.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take any pictures. I went by myself, and didn’t feel comfortable asking someone I just met to indulge me by snapping a bunch of photos that would probably be unattractive and I would summarily delete.

But I have something just as good, I promise.

May I present you with a photo-realistic drawing of me and Perfect.

Seriously, guys, you’ll be impressed with my artistic skills.

It’s amazing…

Just like the real thing…

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Here it is:

Megsie Rides

Megsie Rides

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep. That happened.

Next lesson is in t-minus 6 days. I can’t wait for pony snuggles.

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Adventures in (Resuming) Ponyhood, Pt. I

After many years of talking about it, I am FINALLY going to my first riding lesson in over a decade tonight.

Eeeep.

I’m so excited, I keep forgetting to breathe. Not an optimal state when trying to command a highly sensitive, 1000 pound prey animal, but whatevs.

I’ve spent the past few months looking for a suitable barn nearby (as in, less than an hour away), and found many, but most were quickly eliminated for various reasons, namely:

1. Barn was too expensive.

I would love to be able to spend the equivalent of a month’s rent on lessons and leasing (not owning!) a horse, but I just can’t.

2. Barn was poorly run.

I read a LOT of Yelp and Google reviews trying to get a feel for places. Absence of reviews doesn’t necessarily mean a place is good, but it d0es mean no one has been pissed off enough to tell the internet about it, which bodes well. The ones with bad reviews, I still studied carefully to try and make a determinations of whether it would be worth it. One bad review doesn’t mean much, but when you have people legitimately complaining about the owner/trainer violating horse safety, time to run the other way.

3. Barn caters to the wrong discipline.

I’m a total English-riding snob, and if I so much as glimpse cowboy boots and neck reining, I’m out. I know there are probably many, many perfectly responsible Western riders/horse owners out there, I just haven’t met them. Western riding tends to either be rough or lazy, and the whole redneck persona is not appealing at all. I grew up in I-dee-ho, so I feel entitled to this opinion.

4. I don’t own a horse.

This means that I must rely on riding schooling horses for the foreseeable future. I didn’t think this would be much of an issue, but a lot of the most highly recommended trainers do not have lesson horses available. Disappointing, but understandable.

Prior to finding the barn I’m going to tonight — fingers crossed, it’s as good as it looks — I spoke with a very nice trainer named J, who,  as it turns out,  was absolutely terrifying.

J owns a small “boutique” stable (her word) about fifteen minutes from me. Perfect.

J was very friendly and talkative. A good match for an introvert like myself — I don’t have to say much.

J wanted to be “honest” with herself and her clients. She reiterated this many times. She was very honest. Honestly, a little too honest.

For instance, when I mentioned my budget for a horse was under $10k (which, let’s be real, that’s a lot of fucking money in my income bracket) she replied, “what? You’ll only get a broken down old nag at that price!” Then, she tried to convince me to buy a nice starter horse at the very reasonable price of $25,000, plus her $1000 finder’s fee.

Um… No.

Fortunately, this conversation took place over the phone, so she couldn’t see my face.

I have high hopes for tonight’s adventure. First step: try to squeeze myself into tall boots. Why, oh why didn’t I get zippered boots?

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Romance in the 21st Century

I spent some time the other day searching through old emails trying to find a particular one (which I was sure I would have saved, but apparently did not) and came across an email sent to me in high school by an ex-boyfriend. At the time, I thought said fellow was my boyfriend. He wasn’t, he just hadn’t bothered to inform me.

He ended his otherwise innocuous message with the following valediction:

“Someone who loves you just like you were his own sister….”

This was 2004, well before Game of Thrones made incest popular again, but I was steeped in Evangelical culture and thought referring to friends as a brother or sister in Christ was perfectly normal. So, I didn’t get the hint that my “boyfriend” had moved on.

It turned out okay, because the only reason why I dated him in the first place was because he told me he had a heart disease and was probably going to die within a few years. Commitment was not my strong suit at age sixteen, so the idea of a terminally ill lover was very appealing. Ah, young love.

He didn’t die.

Disappointingly, he still hasn’t.

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