Starting From Scratch
Both of us were starting from scratch. My entire career as a riding student was only in English and only up to the most basic of beginner levels. I started in college, just one lesson a week and the occasional show in the novice class. I didn't jump fences or rails, I walked and trotted other people's horses in circles. Then after years out of the saddle I started again at Riding Right as a student, and still a beginner. I learned so much about seat, confidence, hands, bits, and fitting tack proper. The lessons were invaluable. And I will never forget the summer day Hollie told me our lesson would be a trail ride together through hay fields at sunset. I was on a 14 hand Haflinger, and I think it was that ride that had me falling in love with smaller drafts.
I left my corporate job at Orvis four months later, for a lot of reasons. If it wasn't for this horse and what he showed me I could be, I'm not sure I could believe it was possible. He was and is a dream come true. He has done so much for me, and asks for so little in return. The time I spend with him is without measure, somehow horse sweat and forest paths have the ability to freeze the world in place, making summers last decades. I want another summer of trail rides and visits to friends farm on horseback or in our little red cart, but we are starting from scratch again. We both need to work up our bodies, trust, and partnership after a winter mostly out of practice.
I look forward to every lesson, even if they now happen on my winding road or a neighbors' field. I'm out of the arena and the land of velvet helmets but not ungrateful for them. If it wasn't for Riding Right I would not be the rider I am learning to become.