Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 32

Posted by 雯雯 at 8:33 AM
Yesterday was another Wednesday. I wasn't particularly looking forward to it, and it went very slowly. Until horse riding. I have horse riding lessons every Wednesday after dinner. It was a very popular elective, loads of people on the waiting list. They all came the first time, then the second time, then we started becoming fewer and fewer. I'm not sure why people were put off - probably because we divide ourselves into newbies and non-newbies, and each group gets 45 minutes of riding while the other has to sit and watch (or run next to someone, depending on what we're doing). It's boring to wait. Since we were going to a play later that evening and wouldn't have more than 30 minutes for preparation after getting back from riding lessons, more people decided not to go. In the end, we were only 5 people, 4 who were supposed to be there and one who just tagged along for fun.

Well, I'm happy I went in the end - just having 5 people meant we could all ride for the entire lesson. The teacher gave us a choice of some horses, I picked the one I rode last time. She wasn't very.. hmm energetic that time, maybe I was doing it wrong, but at the very least she was nice to me. A young girl came along to help me to get her ready, and I managed to take her to the riding place all by my lonesome.

I could feel she was more energetic this time - she kept wanting to go faster than the other horses, and I had to keep slowing her down. Previously I've had trouble getting her to turn, but yesterday it was pretty easy. Then we were going to practice trotting. The girl who helped me put on the reins came up to me and thrust a whip into my hands. No explanation. Just gave me the whip. I just took it and wondered to myself what I was supposed to use it for, or rather when. We haven't been whipping the horses before. In any case, I continued trotting.

At one point, the girl realized I wasn't using the whip at all. Well why would I, nobody told me what for. She showed me I was holding it wrong, then let me ride on. We ride in circles in a big indoor riding hall. As I came back to where the girl was, my horse randomly slowed down, and I hear the girl yelling "Use the whip!"
I dutifully give my horse a light tap and she speeds up to a trot. Then the girl continues "Use the whip again!"
I feel confused. I mean, we were supposed to be trotting, and my horse certainly was trotting, but I figure she probably knows what she's talking about. I tap my horse again.
My horse starts going really fast, faster than a trot. I'm quite surprised, and my right foot slips out of the stirrup. As we're racing onwards, I'm trying to figure out how to slow down. Nobody really taught me. Pulling the reins seemed like a good idea though, so there I sit, trying to keep my balance with one foot loose and pulling the reins. The whole thing only lasted for a few seconds, but they were some very exciting seconds! I'm happy I managed to stay on.

Later in the practice we got to try going fast (again, for me). Yet again nobody told me what to do. I'm just sitting there on my horse with the whip. Just try to stay on her, they say. I'm not sure if I actually managed, but hopefully I'll get to try again next week! When we were done, I jumped off my horse.. well, slid off (though I'm getting better at that too) and gave her a few good pats, since I felt like she'd been really nice to me. I'll try to ride her again next week, it feels like we're getting along somewhat!




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