On my second riding lesson I got to trot! It did look easy if you see other people do it, but it’s much harder than I thought. At every step you feel like you are going to fall out of the saddle, unless you hop up and down to the rhythm of the trot. The rider goes up and down. You push yourself up by standing in the saddle and go back sitting down. Up and down at the rhythm of the trot. For me it’s very difficult!
(Picture by Noelle Harris)
Steering is also difficult when you're trotting. But my teacher said that it would be easier when I get used to it. It would be like riding a bike! So I can’t wait until my last lesson and that’s when I would be able to trot easily and I know it will be fun!
I have also learned how to turn more easily, as well as to go straight. I have being "working on the rail”. By that I mean I'm keeping the horse by the side of the arena. I have also being working on turning more sharply. I had done a full turn around a couple of times.
But when I trot it’s hard for me to do everything at the same time. In fact I could only do short trots because I keep forgetting to make sure my hand is down to “give him head”, or else I stop him. My teacher said I could hold on the horn if I wanted to, and that really makes me feel better. I have to make sure my hand is down just enough so I wouldn’t pull on the reins, and do up and down in the saddle (which really makes the whole ride much more comfortably in the saddle). Also I have make sure my heels are down and toes up, and I need to steer with my legs and hands.
Before I got on the horse, I made a mistake when I led Trigger into the arena. I went between my mother’s car (she parked it there when we started) and I half went over a log when I went into the arena. Instead, I should have led him around the car where there was more space. The horse could have tripped over the log and ether bucked at the car (that might damage both the car and the horse). Or the horse could have bucked and might have hit me! Or he could have just tripped and madly hurt himself.
And also the last thing I also learned today is what makes the horse more upset. There are many ways, but this is one way: the weather. People also have changing moods in the weather. It’s either you hate the kind of weather or the weather changes you. Like sometimes when it’s hot, it makes you mad or it could make you happy. Summer always makes me happy. I love it when it’s hot because of what it reminds me of: swimming, lazy days, clear skies and being outside with friends. I like the sound of lawn mowing because it reminds me of summer.
Horses have the same feelings as well. The hot sun makes them feel: lazy, annoyed, or tired. Not all the time are they are like this but they are mostly lazy in summer and sometimes it makes them annoyed because of the heat. They can be annoyed especially when it’s hot because they have thick coats. Their coats come handy in many things but they can get hot in them very easily and it will make them unhappy about it.
In colder days they might run around more. They will show their happiness by running, bucking and making warm greetings to the horses around. By this the other horse might follow and also run and buck with happiness. They would do more of this in colder days because they have nice thick coats to keep them perfectly warm. The reason other horse might follow another horse’s acts will be because they are herd animals. If one horse runs in a herd the whole herd will run. That will be usually the leader who controls the others.
I would have never known this until I saw Cole (my dream horse) show me. On a fall day when it was cold but not too cold or too hot I went over to Cole’s paddock. He came friskily to the fence. Then after greeting him I was about to leave when he start galloping around in his paddock. And then he would start bucking. I thought I must have scared him, but when I went up to the fence he came to me happily. So I watched him as he showed off by galloping, jumping and bucking. He did scare a horse next to his paddock who seemed grumpy, but there were two horses who started to follow Cole’s acts. And they did seem very happy.