About a year ago, I started looking for a riding instructor. I had made a decision that I was going to learn how to ride a horse and I was determined to stick to it. I think it must have been one of those sleepless moonlit night sorts of things, when you gaze out the living room window and your imagination runs wild. Grandiose thoughts take over your brain: why, with enough work and the right instructor, I could be eventing within a year. Or at least stay mounted at the canter.
Or maybe I wanted to learn to ride because Napoleon rode horses. Here is a famous painting depicting Napoleon crossing the Alps:
Ha. It’s fantasy. The reality was closer to this:
Napoleon was a bona fide military genius, of course. Can’t take that away from him. But he was also a bona fide marketing genius.
My riding experience thus far has been closer to this Goofy video. The video is something like 8 or 10 minutes long, worth every second of course, for the deeper truths it tells. The part on how to post at the trot has special significance to me. But you can skip it if you don’t have the time. We all kind have an idea of what Goofy is all about.
Anyway, my experience at Karin’s Horse Connection has been something between Bonaparte’s magnificent white charger myth and his practical mule reality. It’s been mostly work, but there have been moments of glory. At least this kind:
In the fantasy painting, we see Napoleon point upward. This was to symbolize victories to come. Here, in true Napoleonic fashion, I raise my spoon to future equestrian glory.
If nothing else, it’s been a lot of fun so far. Karin’s Horse Connection is very fun place to learn about horses and how to ride them.
More on that next time.