Back In The Saddle
 By RainbowNerd01   •   28th Aug 2012   •   43,032 views   •   6 comments
Back In The SaddleAs some of you may know I loan a beautiful horse called Tara. She is a Bay, 15.2hh, 24 year old mare that I adore with my heart. She’s isn’t the fittest of the bunch but she’s the best, most well behaved one. This is my story of how, against all odds, I got to loan my dream horse.

It started last year in January at a small riding school in England called Naydon Equestrian. This yard was where I got back in the saddle after 8 years. I was 13 then and had butterflies coming up my neck. My friend (who I had started riding with all those years ago) had told me she enjoyed this little riding yard. Ten episodes of ‘The Saddle Club’ later I had the inspiration I needed. Seeing those riders canter along the beautiful scenery with their hair flowing and going on so many great adventures was a wake-up call to me. I ran into our small converted shed to my mum and nearly ran into the door. I waited patiently tapping my foot and looking through the ‘Yellow Pages’ to find this mysterious new school. Finally off the phone my mum looked at me, rather puzzled as she had never seen me this hyped up before. A few persuasive words later I had rung up the school and booked my first lesson.

The days ticked by painfully slow and once the day of riding came I was excited. I had borrowed a pair of jodhpurs from a neighbour and looking rather fetching with neon pink socks, a thick mountain climbing coat, a skull cap and a hair-cut that wasn’t the best idea I had lead my horse out. His name was Oakley, a 13.3hh Haflinger gelding. He was an angel on the first lesson and I couldn’t be happier. I was surprised at how much I had remembered. I rose to the trot on lunge and remembered how to turn my noble steed. After a few lessons on him I swapped to a bigger pony called Mr. Pink. He was even sweeter and I had my first canter with him. Due to a problem with his knees I couldn’t jump him so I was soon back to Oakley for my first jumping lesson. We spent the lesson with my eyes closed, as I felt him pick his feet up and over the pole on the floor at walk I would fold into my jumping position then sit back up when his hind legs landed on the other side. Eventually I trotted over the pole before it turned into a small 1 foot cross and I popped over it folding on time. I have to come out with this. I had my eyes open while going over it as I couldn’t believe it. The thing I had wanted to do for so long came true.

Back In The Saddle

Eventually, sometime in May I got the worst call of my life. I had lost my place at the riding school due to another school wanted to book our time. I couldn’t go at any other time and I had to face the fact I would never see those horses again. I cried that night alone, looking over the picture from my first lesson. I loved Oakley and Mr. Pink and wanted to see them again. I had a lifeline to horses though. My dad has a very close friend called Jane. She owned this yard 5 minutes away from where I lived and owned Tara, Holly and Jay Jay, who was Tara’s son. My dad asked Jane if I could go work up there during the holidays so I could get experience. My first day up there was amazing. I rode Jay Jay who was only 5 at the time. He was 16.1 and a gentle giant. I helped muck out, groom and tack up. Soon I booked a lesson with a friendly rider and she game me lessons on Tara. I walked, trotted and cantered to showcase my abilities. The second lesson, a week later, I jumped a small cross and loved it. A few weeks on from that and I was still helping at the yard. My riding position improved dramatically as had my jumping. I was then jumping roughly 2ft 3. I was looking to loan Tara, but when it came to asking Jane I got turned down. Tara was already on loan.

Back In The Saddle

Suddenly a voice piped up. A woman named Zanna had a 16.1 Flea-bitten mare named Dream that she simply didn’t have enough time to ride. I agreed to try out Dream the following day and things didn’t go as I expected. I arrived at 11AM on the dot to find Dream already tacked up and waiting. I walked into the yard and propped up my bike. Greeting Zanna she led Dream over to the mounting blocks and I sprung up onto her saddle. Her stirrups were so long she had to wind them round the bottom twice then put it on the shortest hole. I warmed Dream up and was caught off guard by how forward going she was. Her trot was Tara’s slow canter! Tara was so hard to get going as I had found out so this was a complete change. I cantered her in circles and to be honest it was the first time I was scared of riding a horse. Zanna put up a small cross for me to get used to how Dream jumped and approached. I cantered her up, aiming directly at the middle and one stride out Dream slammed on the brakes and I toppled over her neck onto the floor.

“Try again you have to be fully committed to the jump otherwise she won’t do it. Be confident.” These were Zanna’s words of wisdom that kept me going as I fell off the next time and the time after that.

On the final attempt we flew over the jump so Zanna wanted me to do it again. I went over the jump once more and smiled. I had got over my confidence loss and had jumped this horse! Upon telling my parents about it they didn’t want me falling off again, so I didn't get her on loan.

Back In The Saddle

A few weeks further into the summer holidays I had the best text of my life. I was bored out of my mind and the weather was stunning for an English summer. I was on my netbook and browsing Facebook looking for new Facebook horse games, but without any luck I started looking for cat videos instead. Suddenly my phone buzzed. Bored I slowly picked it up and my heart jumped. Jane and sent me a text asking if I still wanted to loan Tara! I tried to act calm and collected about it as my inner self was doing flips and bouncing off the walls. I walked to mum and told her about it, she agreed and so I texted back saying that of course I would. Five minutes later my phone buzzed again asking if I wanted to meet up with Jane tomorrow to try her out. The following day I grabbed my bike and cycled the mile to Jane’s to try out Tara.

Back In The Saddle

A week of trial went by and on the last day I had my first hack on my own. As soon as I hit the open field I squeezed up and cantered her in two-point along the field, smiling as I went. It was so amazing to be able to do that without anyone telling me to slow down or where to go. I returned to Jane’s house feeling triumphant as me and Tara walked down the drive and towards the small stables. Since then I couldn’t of wished for anything better. I know how to cope with her when she wants to stay in the field and not go in, I know what rarely spooks her and I know how to get her going. I couldn’t have wished for anything better than the luck I had that day. I have now loaned Tara for over a year and love her to bits. I hack her down to my house once a month and go for gallops across the fields and endless bridleways in our area. If any of you have the opportunity to loan a horse, do it! It’s the best thing that’s happened to me and I recommend it if you don't have the ability to commit to a large investment of owning a horse!
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Stories      Horse News More From This Author:  RainbowNerd01
Starlight Farm  
nice story! that barrel jump is higher than 2'3" )
  Aug 28, 2012  •  2,677 views
What a great article! It's great to read about how your confidence has grown, and congratulations on getting such a fabulous loan pony.
  Aug 29, 2012  •  2,507 views
Thanks so much guys is did a happy dance when I saw it on here XD xxxxx
  Aug 29, 2012  •  2,528 views
Double Spur Ranch  
great story :)
  Aug 29, 2012  •  2,801 views
Great Story!

This is probably my favorite News Article! P
  Aug 29, 2012  •  2,542 views
Thank you :D
  Sep 1, 2012  •  2,526 views
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