Riding Toward Random
I am I am one step closer to sitting on a horse. I am going to take Saddleseat lessons. I blame this blog.
In a previous post [Running on Empty], I asked for suggestions to awaken my motivation. A kindly commenter suggested, “Take a lesson at a random barn…..”. Had she said, “Take lessons”, my response would have been, ‘Yeah, yeah, tried that.’ English barns cost too much to make a habit of. The one nice-looking Western barn I found never responded [Checklist]. There are other barns, but I want an actual program with reliable lesson horses. Not someone with a handful of horses pimping out their riding horse for money.
However, she said, “Take a lesson at a random barn…..”. A few days earlier, we’d had dinner with friends whose granddaughter is at summer camp at Stepping Stone Farm (also Facebook), a local saddleseat barn. The two ideas fused together and became a plan. I’d go check out the gdaughter’s barn and maybe sign up for lessons. I can’t get more random than a discipline without a jump nor a speed class in sight.
Of course, I have the usual Hunter/Jumper & Eventing prejudices about the Saddleseat industry. But, I’ve learned to take my own prejudices with a grain of salt. During my Kentucky pilgrimages [Pereginatio], I stayed with a family, one branch of which rides Saddleseat. At their farm, I saw a bit that looked as if it was made out of bicycle chain. I was horrified. Unfortunately, Rolex doesn’t have an unblemished record for bringing all entries home safely. No horses were dropping dead at Saddleseat shows. They were probably as appalled at Eventing as I was at their bit.
At Stepping Stone, the owner/head trainer asked about my experience. I said I had ridden but it had been a while. Which is all too despairingly true. I was surprised that she didn’t ask more. However, given the smoke horse folks can blow, how would she know what to believe? Having run afoul due to perky eagerness in my youth, I tend to undersell in horse situations. She couldn’t know that. Besides, she’ll find out whatever needs first time I get on a horse. The barn always starts with simple one-on-one walk/trot classes until a new rider is settled. I have no objection. Even if Rodney & I were thundering around, I know essentially zip about saddleseat.
Any advice from Saddleseat riders out there?
You know it’s hot when the cats start to melt.