Saturday, February 9, 2013

Horses fit like puzzle pieces

I mentioned yesterday that there would be some riding during the weekend, and so it was, on horseback, with the children. We are rank beginners in equestrianism, but it so happened that we were offered a possibility to go and ride Icelandic horses.

I'm still a bit dazed about what happened today, and it is not only the two cups of coffee which I drank during a pause, first time within a month for drinking coffee.

What happened is that we were sitting on the horses, riding on a road at walking speed in a row, approaching a crossing, when the first horse, ridden by one of our two guides, suddenly rose up, turned around, and started to gallop past us in the other direction. A stamped happened, all horses following suit. And all four of us - I and the children - fell off the horses. Our guides managed to stay in the saddle and caught the horses after a while.

Well, that was quite scary, and even though nothing seemed to be broken, there are sure to be some bruises visible tomorrow. The youngest daughter got scared and didn't want to continue riding, and so she went inside the house, waiting there, but joined us for a lunch break in the forest. The two older daughters had it better, and went back to saddle, and we continued our ride in the fields and forests.

Apparently the reason for the scare was that some kind of blower was switched on behind the house by the road crossing, and the sssshhh sound got the first horse scared for some reason. And horses a like that, they run away from danger. But gallop was a bit too much for us beginners, especially as the horses turned around so quickly.

Anyway, we rode for an hour or so, had lunch, and continued riding. In all we rode two hours, maybe a bit more, which is difficult to tell as the sense of time seems to be lost when in the saddle. You have to focus on riding, on how the horse moves, what is happening nearby, and how the terrain changes. And even though one wouldn't think that sitting in the saddle for two hours needs much energy, we were quite tired afterwards.

(Posting title is from the poem Horses in Snow by Roberta Hill Whiteman.)

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