Thursday, January 26, 2012

15 of 30: Horseback Riding Fidelio

When I signed up for horseback riding classes, I half expected to come out of it riding a horse like Arwen from the Lord of the Rings… You know, with grace and speed, and my hair flying behind me…
Once again, I was a more than a little disappointed. Maybe it’s my fault for having high expectations to begin with. I suppose you can’t really get much out of a one hour introductory lesson purchased from groupon for 20 bucks. But I thought if I told them that I have ridden horses before, they might ‘promote’ me to the advanced level! I was going to elaborate on this big horse ‘ranch’ up in the mountains of Baguio Philippines… where they literally just throw you on a horse, and ride like the wind!

But no. These guys were big on fundamentals. At least I got to pick my horse though! I requested for a big black stallion – and that’s what I got! His name was Fidelio.
The instructor taught me and my friend, N, how to put the reins on first… so we could walk the horses out of their stables to the “grooming area”
Then she taught us how to brush and brush and brush and brush their hair… and clean their hooves and feed them hay. She didn’t really say it, but I think she wanted us to sort of have a ‘bonding’ moment with the horse too… and grooming was the best way to do it.

I have learned that in order to get love, you need to send out love! So I gave Fidelio all of my best lovey dovey thoughts… Seriously, if I had a braided hair that day, I would have attached it to his tail like in Avatar.

Maybe it was the love, maybe I just got lucky, or maybe Fidelio was just a loving horse to begin with… Doesn’t matter. The point is, Fidelio and I had a pretty good time! I mounted the saddle and climbed up on his back. It felt like I’ve been doing it for years! If only we could have shaked the instructor off, we could have been in business… But that lady had a tight hold on her ‘boyfriend’ as she called him, and never let him out of her sight!

Bonding with Fidelio was cool… but I can’t say the same for the lessons. It has to be known though that I am a very impatient person. When it comes to learning new skills, I like to jump the gun right away, expecting to be a ‘natural’ at it. So obviously, with the horse, I’d have wanted to run – not gallop or strut, on an open field or meadow or a beach on the first day! Maybe hold a bow and arrow and shoot targets at the same time like a heroine in a movie.

Ugh. Instead, we were stuck there… learning how to move 0.005 miles an hour, moving Fidelio to the left, moving Fidelio to the right, turning him round and round. I had to endure that for a whole hour… and it was painful.

I don’t know if this whole equestrian thing is for me. I mean – I loooove horses. I think they are some of the most beautiful animals ever! It’s just – living in a modest apartment in Los Angeles, I can’t really afford to own a horse. And if I continued to take lessons… errr what am I going to do with it? Maybe I would have been a great rider, had I been born in an earlier century? Or if I lived in Ireland or something… where the only means of transportation could very well be a horse, because of how vast and beautiful the lands are…

It was nice making friends with Fidelio though. At least now I know how to groom horses… right?