What I like best about taking lessons at Karin’s Horse Connection is the variety. I’ve lost track of how many different combinations of horses and saddles I’ve been on. And I’m not going to count them, just for the sake of knowing the number. Not knowing provides a tinge of plausibility to exaggeration and I put a premium on the opportunity to embellish. Ignorance has its uses and I intend to get the most out of it.
Every lesson introduces me to something new that I didn’t know about horses and riding – almost to the point where I’m thinking these folks are making it up as they go along. How would I know?
In my last lesson, Karin was off on another continent again and unless I wanted to receive my instruction via cell phone or give mental telepathy a go, I had the choice of skipping this time or have a substitute instructor. I hate skipping. There’s just no point in it. Plus, it’s fun to stir it up a bit and experience different instructional approaches and meet new people.
So Karin sent Brenda in her place. Brenda is a knowledgeable horseperson with over 30 years of experience, including a stint as an instructor at a horse camp where she taught around 40 kids a day. I would be a piece of cake.
Brenda’s daughter takes vaulting lessons with Karin. Her son is the young man with the donkey that was the Hit of Karin’s Horse Connection Trail Mix Fun Fest back in August. Everyone loves donkeys.
I’ve never met a horseperson who wasn’t interesting. This may be because everyone is interesting and I normally don’t take the time to find out, but with horsepeople, I’m motivated to listen better.
Brenda was interesting not just because of her breadth of horse knowledge, but also because of how she got into horses. It was her dad’s fault.
Apparently, when Brenda was very young – around 4, I think – her family lived in a rural area and had horses and whatnot. Then, they moved to a place where there wasn’t room for a horse. And whatnot was totally out of the question. But that didn’t stop Brenda’s father from buying her a pony anyway. Go, dad, go.
As so often happens, what the father did failed to correspond with what Brenda’s mother wanted done. Brenda’s mother was no horseperson and wanted nothing to do with this madness. While her father was comfortable with horses, his career as a golf pro often required that he work up to 90 hours a week. This left Brenda’s mother in charge of handling Brenda and her pony.
The dilemma was resolved when they got Brenda into a 4-H group. With 4-H, Brenda could (in theory) learn all what she needed to know in order to become a fully functioning horseperson. Meanwhile, her mother found her niche in the club by contributing her much needed bookkeeping and administrative skills. She did this happily over several years. This made 4-H a family endeavor and thus paved the way for Brenda’s long equestrian career.
Because Brenda’s father was willing to risk upsetting the apple cart at home, his daughter became an accomplished horseback rider and was able to bequeath her love of things equine to her son and daughter.
So yes, sometimes it’s good just to ignore the obstacles and stir it up a bit and see what happens.
The only loser in this scenario is me, because now I’m left once again risking a brain hernia as I strain with all my might to resist the word play that naturally and powerfully come to mind whenever donkeys are in the picture.
Next time, I’ll tell you what Brenda taught me.