Riding Diaries, Lesson 4: Marigold

Last week I missed my weekly lesson since I was out of town visiting a friend. Today we got right back into it though. I got to ride a different horse named Marigold. She was smaller than the other horses (which I actually appreciated since I’m small myself) and a beautiful whitish gold color. My instructor told me that I was going to ride her today, as it’s easier to make her go. I’m trotting more now so this is helpful.

I loved how as I was cleaning her hooves, she automatically raised them as I came around (after the first one at least). Then when I got on, I was worried about falling off because it seemed like she was leaning around so much when she walked.

Well we got into the corral area and my instructor was right! I barely had to do much in terms of nudging her to get her to go. In fact, just a little more squeezing on the legs made her start a trot almost right away. Today I was able to ride without my instructor holding the rope that connects the horse to her. I don’t know what it’s called, but it helps her to steer the horse if I can’t.

This post isn’t going to be long compared to the other ones. The two things that really stuck out to me were what I noticed at the beginning and what I experienced at the end. What I noticed in the beginning was Marigold’s color. What struck me at the end was when I said “thank you” to her, she leaned in toward me, lowered her head in a nodding motion as though she was saying “you’re welcome.” We stood there together for a little bit. I had read somewhere that you shouldn’t go up to a horse and try to pet its head first; instead you should let it come to you, and then go from there… so that’s what I did and then Marigold licked me. It felt extremely affectionate to me. Something connected between us that I can’t even explain but it definitely made my day.

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