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Friday, September 17, 2010

How to ride a Horse- In Italian-Part 1

So for those of you that didn't know, I'm taking English riding lessons, and by English I mean in an English saddle because my lessons are in Italian!!!!
Now, I have ridden on a western saddle a few times, and I've ridden on an English saddle a few years ago for the first time and thought I'd cracked my sacrum for the next two weeks. I've been wanting to take riding lessons for years now and now here is my chance.


So its a bit nerve wracking to haul yourself up on a big horse and stay on when your instructors are speaking to you in English, now try it where the instructor is only speaking VERY basic english and you only understand the basic Italian.....sometimes!!!! I was a bit overwhelmed.  In a perfect world I would start at how to tack up the horse and groom it and then how to walk it, how to mount, and so on and so forth. I like knowing exactly what I'm supposed to do before I do it.
WELL.....I walked my horse into the arena with some guidance, they did this INSANE mount where they grab your left foot and basically throw you in the air and you're supposed to gracefully land on the horse........rrriiiiggghhhhtttt. Poor freaking Baron (my horse) was probably thinking (OH MY GOD WHAT JUST LANDED LIKE A ROCK ON MY BACK!?!?!) My mount was not graceful at all. I was prepared to put my foot in the stirrup and mount, or mount from a block but not for the cirque de soleil move I had to perform!!

They DID show me how to hold my reins(with the stupid crop too which really messed me up!), and how to sit, but they wanted me to hold my reins quite far up the horses neck and kept moving my hands back there. The only way for to hold them that far out was to move my upper body forward which made my posture crap, and now today my neck hurts like heck! Lynn (Richard's Mom)  is coming to my lesson with me next week and she rocks it out on a horse so hopefully she can tell me in nice, detailed English what I'm doing wrong!!!!

My horse was lazy and didn't want to take the corners properly, but I also didn't know how to properly "steer" him until almost the end of the lesson*sigh* I'd read up on it all in English but putting it all together while trying to keep myself on the horse was more than my brain could handle....while also trying to translate the Italian I was hearing!!!!

I was quite proud of myself that I didn't fall off during the trot, and seemed to be doing what I was supposed to be doing since I got a "Bravissima!" from the instructor....which I think is good :) I didn't FEEL like I knew what I was doing(which is probably because I was winging it) but hey.....I guess it will come with practice.

It was much more of a workout than I expected, but my legs don't hurt nearly as much today as I thought they would. Guess the insane amount of stairs in our house has helped a bit!

My dismount was a bit more graceful than the mount but I'm pretty sure Baron would strongly disagree!!!

SO....I survived, didn't fall off, was completely confused the entire time but hey....I guess I'll learn Italian pretty quickly this way won't I!?!?!


Stephanie September 17, 2010 at 6:27 PM  

So, I can totally envision you doing the cirque de soleil mount onto your horse.... ha, ha! I'm sure it will get easier though as you attend more lessons - the first one is tough because you don't really know what to expect. Looking forward to hearing about your next one :)

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About Me

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Milan, Italy
I am 34 years old, married to my wonderful husband Richard and mother to a beautiful 8 year old daughter named Reese. We lived in the suburbs of Calgary until January 2010 where I worked as an ER Nurse. Then my husband was transferred to Vancouver for a 6 month temporary project. Our blog Tripping over the Sidewalk told all about our adventure living on the 30th floor of an apartment building in the middle of downtown Vancouver. Then we moved to Milan, Italy for 18 months, Ciao-Eh was the online forum for our Italian adventures. We moved to Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates in January 2012 and lived there for two and a half years. Sandscrapers, Souks and Sand is the blog of our adventures in the Middle East! We are now happy to be back on a little acreage just outside of Calgary where I'm sure more adventures await!!!!



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