A year ago yesterday, I rode a horse for the first time. As you may remember, or if you are a new reader, his name was Reno, and he was a small bay gelding that once did Western pleasure and was the most laid-back horse I have known. It's hard to believe that a year has gone by already. In some ways it seems like it has been forever, but in other ways it doesn't seem very long ago at all. A year ago I struggled to halter a horse and didn't know how to handle or tack one, much less ride one. I really didn't know much at all.
Now, a year later, I know so much more. I am comfortable handling, tacking, and grooming a horse. I can now walk, trot, canter, leg-yield, do a little jumping, and have even learned how to get a horse on the bit, though I still need to practice that a lot. In my first year of riding I have ridden almost a dozen horses, including Reno, Ginger, Moe, Chester, Bentley, Roxie, Ronnie, Frankie, Romeo(the horse I test rode but never ended up getting) and a few others that friends outside the group that rides with Meghan have. Over the summer I got to ride Chester, the chestnut Thoroughbred/Percheron that I leased and learned so much on. He was the first horse that I regularly rode and he taught me how to canter and how to ride a challenging horse. It really is true that challenging horses have the most to teach us.
More than that, I have made friends and had many great experiences. Some of the funnest moments include the Pony Club mounted games night, when all the girls were playing fun games on horseback. We had done pole bending with apples in our hands so we couldn't use the reins, egg races, a musical chairs game with dressage cones, and even a bareback dollar game. One of the greatest times I had with my friends was at the barn slumber party. All my friends and I rode bareback around the barn and in the arena, swapping mounts when we were in the arena to see how riding other horses was. It was a great, fun experience. After dark we watched horse movies and had a horse scavenger hunt, looking for items such as brushes, girths, halters, and saddles.
I learned so much this year and have come so far in my riding. I can't wait to see what this next year of riding brings.