Three Times a Rider

IT’S OFFICIAL The Thursday private lesson has become embedded into my routine.

I know I won’t be able to make every week; there’s a big job I’ve got on that’s going to interfere, maybe in two weeks time. But it’s in there, the third lesson, just as I wished.

Something’s changed, though, and it’s interesting for me to realise it. The atmosphere, my emotional atmosphere, has changed.

It’s not that it’s not any less special, anymore. In the beginning, Saturdays shone like a beacon at the end of the week, this amazing, kind of mad thing that I had taken up. In the blush of newness, in the fever of kitting myself out properly, Saturdays were like an unexpected gift that kept on giving. It was the highpoint of the seven day cycle, its distinction untarnished.

And then… it simply wasn’t enough. The time stretched from Saturday to Saturday like a geological age. Something wouldn’t go quite right, and while I’d think about it relentlessly, I wanted to get back there and work it out.

So Tuesday night became part of the schedule. I was able to go back in there, and work through whatever the current challenge was. I watched as riders came and went, the core group shifting itself at least three times, thus far, and I had another inviolate day in my life. No matter the deadline, I was on that bus at a quarter past five, heading back up the mountain, and it felt great. I had diminished that seemingly endless stretch of time, and all was well.

But then Tuesday to Saturday? May as well have been millennial. I started saying to my friends— gotta get ride in on Thursdays. How am I going to get a ride in on Thursdays? They would shrug, and smile, and assure me that if anybody was going to do it, it was me. I sneaked off to another stable, and might have stuck with it, but it wasn’t where I wanted to be.

Then came the change to my working life, and, well, the rest is history. The change in atmosphere is one that pulled me up a bit. It’s all very regular now— has it lost its shine? Has it lost its momentousness, its significance? I must to admit to feeling that it’s all become routine… but I think that’s my frustration with Rebel’s hi-jinks talking. It’s become more of a challenge, which is flattering, this notion that my instructors believe I’m able for his mischief, but also makes it all the more real.

I am riding, really riding now. I hazard to say I’m an intermediate rider, now? Maybe? The stakes have risen. It’s no longer a jolly jaunt into the unknown. The known has become equally exhilarating and labourious— and it’s the exhausting, taxing and demanding stuff that I’ve got to watch. I need a good breakthrough, and whilst I’m in a mood where I’d like it to just drop down from the sky, perhaps this kind of mental gymnastics means I’m on the brink. I think it’s time to start thinking again, thinking about each lesson and what transpired, in the run up to the next.

I do believe I’ve started taking it for granted— ah. This is terribly exciting, in one sense, in the sense that I go so often, I simply go. This is also taking the shape of a red flag the size of a ship’s sail: that it’s become so work-a-day, I may lose focus.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking: Sue really needs to get her own horse

2 Replies to “Three Times a Rider”

  1. That’s EXACTLY what I was thinking!

    I guess the thing is, now it’s not *just* a fun thing to do, it’s a challenge; and you’ve passed that point where you know enough to know what you’re doing wrong/could do better? [jaysis, that sounds Irish enough, ffsl!] Past the “ignorance is bliss” point? I’m jealous of course!

    Also just thinking aloud here – but what about doing another form of exercise eg Pilates at home, or fitball exercises, to really strengthen your pelvic core and legs? I know how much stronger in that area I am now than when I rode X years ago, and I’m sure it’s going to make a big difference when I start lessons again soon.

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