I found my riding teacher and my barn. An Internet search led me to this interesting place called Lamoreaux Ridge Equestrian Center (www.lamoreauxridge.com), about 15 minutes from our house. The manager of the place, Karin Schmidt is also a riding instructor. I shot Karin an email explaining what I was up to and she invited Jenny and I to visit. After a brief tour of the place, we got to watch Karin give vaulting lessons. The whole experience was very pleasant and positive and suddenly this whole thing was becoming real. My first lesson is this Thursday, June 16 at 8 am. I told as many people as I could about it so that backing out now would mean a complete loss of face. Of course, not backing out could mean a complete loss of consciousness.
Here is what I know about Karin. She was born in Germany and began vaulting at age 7. She became a jockey and raced at every track in Germany. She also raced in the United States and Peru. She exercised horses in Switzerland, England and Canada. Karin holds a German Master Trainer License in training galloping horses (unless something goes terribly wrong on Thursday, she won’t be using this for me). She is a CHA certified instructor whatever that means and a member of the American Association of Riding Schools which sounds pretty good to me. In addition to managing the Lamoreaux Ridge Equestrian Center, Karin is the head coach of the equestrian team at Grandville High School and Hope College and she teaches at the Kent Special Riding Program.
This may be a good time to review my initial criteria for my instructor:
Well traveled: check
Utterly easy to get along with: so far, so good
Acute sense of the absurd: Karin teaches vaulting, which is essentially gymnastics on a moving horse: check
Exceptionally wise: TBD, but I got a good feeling about it.
Paragon of patience: In the weeks to come, I will be testing this to the absolute limit.
Here is Karin’s website: http://www.karinshorses.com/index.shtml
So there it is. I am doing this.