My Life as a Rerider
Returning to the sport as an adult has been strangely enlightening. Suddenly, I’m [appropriately] conscious of the human body’s frailty, and that sounds a little ridiculous, but let’s be real. You don’t bounce the same when you’re twenty-five as you do when you’re twelve. Things actually hurt the next day. Safe horses and safe riding are more important to me now than ever before. But there’s also no way I was going to deny myself the opportunity to ride any longer. I've been that crazy horse kid since I can remember, and the horse bug really never goes away.
Before, I always had excuses like finances or school or work, but now that I’ve graduated [and got dat dream job!!] I have the time and some money. Riding and owning a horse has always been a far off dream of mine, but now that I have the chance to start on that course, I’m kind of obligated! And thrilled to start. Nothing motivates me more to get through the week than riding on Tuesday and Friday nights. I’m incredibly lucky that I feel like I’m picking up where I left off seven years ago.
I’m feeling conflicted as I write this introduction for Mike, the horse I’m currently half leasing. At this point, I’ve already decided to end his lease and will no longer be riding him starting in August. It’s not his fault at all, or his owner’s, but I’ve decided that a lesson program would be better suited to what I need right now in order to meet my long term goals.
Mike is a fifteen year old, track-trained thoroughbred. He has the kindest eye, sticks his tongue out when he’s having a happy ride, loves banana paddock cakes, and will whinny for anyone making his dinner. He even converted my husband to a horse lover despite still being intimidated (he's terrified but feeds all the paddock cakes now).
I really just want to spoil the crap out of this horse, buy him new brushes and a new girth and a new bridle and boots—he deserves it! But he’s not my horse. And there’s no trainer at the barn he’s boarded at so I can’t take lessons. There aren’t even other riders at the times I go out to ride. So that leaves me in this predicament where I’m paying to lease him but don’t feel comfortable enough riding alone. I'm not comfortable enough riding by myself in case I fall off, so I usually don’t ride unless I can bring my husband out. He works full time, too, and he didn’t sign up to lease Mikey.