Lesson #59 began with Karin handing Paul and me a halter & lead rope.
“You will be riding Maree and Windy…”
Both Paul and I hesitated, waiting for Karin to complete her paragraph of instructions.
She nodded to the halter & lead ropes, “… Okay… go get them.”
I wasn’t going that easily. “All right. But who rides who?”
“You two have to decide that.”
Karin keeps adding to the list of things we have to do for ourselves. This includes making these kinds of decisions.
Fetching our own horses is often the most stressful part of the lesson. Both Paul and I are deeply concerned about bringing back the wrong horse.
I admit it. I ‘ve been taking lessons on Karin’s horses for almost two years and I still can’t always tell them apart. Especially the brown ones. And sometimes the Paints.
I think we should devote a whole day to Horse Identification Training. We could take pictures and label them, noting the various markings on each of the horses. We could learn to identify Karin’s horses from more than just their general color & size and get away from all this guessing and anxiety.
As Paul and I hobbled across the frozen, rut-filled pasture, I noted that of the four horses in this area, two were Paints and two were brown. Of the two brown ones, one was a miniature horse. The big one was obviously Maree. So all we had to do with figure out the Paints.
We made our best guess and got it right. When you have a fifty/fifty shot and two guys sort of agree on the same one, it boosts your confidence in your answer. By the time Karin made it out to the pasture to see what was taking us so long, we had the right horses and were ready to go.
The rest of the lesson went remarkably smooth and easy. Maree took the bit with no problem on our first try. She is such a sweetie.
We rode bareback, so we didn’t have to mess around with saddles and all that rot. I even got to ride in my tennis shoes. I like that.
Karin made us mount the horses without her help. Maree is short, so that was a breeze.
Karin dragged the arena while we were warming up, but both Maree and Windy ignored the tractor and the noise. These are rock solid horses.
We then spent a very pleasant time just trotting around the arena, focusing on ourselves and relaxing into the horses beneath us. Karin stood on the outside of arena, watching and wishing she had a beer.
We didn’t learn anything new on Lesson #59. We were just applying the things we’ve already been taught. There has to be a term for this, I thought.
Then it hit me. Ah, yes. It’s called practice.