I like to do this from time to time…okay a lot of times.
I like to try to dig into the murky minds of those around me and derive conclusions not based on fact but merely based on my own myopic observations. It’s like the cool thing to do…duh. If you’re a woman, of course.
So check this out…*
*code for: analyze with me (also see: validate me)
There are three, sometimes four lovely ladies in my Wednesday night lesson group. I am 23, fairly tall, athletic build (think college rower plus maybe one too many ice cream cones since then) the other women in my class are all approximately mid- to late-thirties. Most of them are shorter than me and two of them are tiny, skinny minis while the other woman is shorter but stouter than I am.
okay…are you with me so far? good.
As far as riding ability is concerned, one of the women is quite a bit more advanced than I am. One of them is almost equally as skilled as I am, but she misses lessons a lot and isn’t very serious about it. And the third woman just started lessons so, even though she had ridden before a long time ago, she is a beginner-pretty raw.
Now there are only a certain number of horses available to lesson students and because the farm runs riding camps and such during the day, the available horses change from day-to-day. Obviously they have horses that suit every skill level so some are more schoolmaster than others.
For three weeks now, my instructor has given me a difficult horse to ride. Not bad horses, just not beginner’s horses. Sonny has no brakes and no steering and Rascal pins his ears, bites, and refuses to move out unless you carry a whip. Difficult.
Here comes the part I don’t understand…WHY ME? Does she just forget that I had a difficult week the week before? When I first started at this barn I rode Tia the saintly schoolmaster. Maybe four lessons after I was switched to Sonny. I assumed it had a lot to do with my size- Tia is a little horse, Sonny is a big, tall horse, I am a big, tall woman: I can do the math. But I ended up switching back and forth between Sonny and Tia for a while. Then another woman joined our lesson group and because she was new and less experienced she rides Tia almost exclusively. I always ride Sonny. The other woman in my class rotates between the other horses: Cowboy, Sprat, Whisper, etc. And the experienced rider usually rides Whisper or one of the more advanced horses. I have never seen anyone else in my class ride Sonny. Why is that? I flat-out want to know. If it is because she just randomly chooses then that is a crazy coincidence. If it is because I am tall and muscular then why did I used to ride Tia and why did she have me ride Rascal? He’s little. If it is because she trusts that I will be okay on that type of horse where the others would not- then I wish she would tell me that.
Gentle readers, please don’t take me wrong here- I am learning a TON from riding these difficult horses and it challenges my abilities to the max every time which is great! All I am saying is that I desperately need to have a lesson where the horse isn’t the variable but where I am the variable and the horse is the constant. I need to work on my own basics. And no, I don’t want to ride the schoolmaster every time. I know I wouldn’t get much better that way either, but there should be a balance. I haven’t been able to canter for three weeks now because I have been over-horsed. I didn’t feel comfortable switching gears on a horse I could barely control at the trot. So I plod along the rail and try to work on things like stopping, sitting trot, or if I’m feeling ballsy a turn on the forehand using the rail as a guide while I watch all the others take their turns cantering.
So ultimately, I intend to get off my passive-aggressive high horse and ask my instructor about it. At the very least when I schedule my next lesson I am going to level with her and tell her I really need to recharge and ride one of the friendly old schoolmasters because I am starting to walk out of my lessons feeling drained, confused, disappointed, and unfulfilled.
And I am still curious why no one else rides Sonny except me?