Along with getting back to school, we have gotten back to riding. It was a bit of a slow start; first we had to go over the paper work for the classes and then wait for some ridiculously cold weather to pass. Though many of us would have liked to just get on a horse, it gave us a chance to review and get back in the mindset of riding after a month and a half of non-poniness (yes, I did just make a word, but I could not come up with one already in existence that I liked!). This time was also really good for the beginner classes that have people in them that have never ridden, or at least never ridden at Judson before. These classes were able to watch a video on the fundamentals of riding and learn a little more about how Judson equestrian program works.
Once we seemed to be over the cold spell our regular routine picked up; Getting to the barn 15-20 minutes before class to get the horse we are riding groomed and tacked, then heading up to the arena to have class. We ride for around an hour, warm up and have a lesson, then head back down to the barn to untack and put the horses up.
The first day I rode was a little crazy. Just like many of the team members have not ridden since around Thanksgiving, the Judson horses have not been ridden in the same amount of time. So, as you can imagine, they were a little high on energy! It was also a little bit windy that day and there was a lot going on. We had some visitors watching my class to see if they would be interested in a horse that was no longer working in our program. Things had been going well until a gust of wind blew a few sheets of paper out of a folder that was sitting outside the ring. As the paper flew so did three of the horses! Ok... they didn't really fly, but it gave them an excuse to spook - running and bucking. Fortunately, all riders stayed on their horse until they were able to safely dismount and the escaping paper was captured. We got our horses calmed back down and were able to finish the class with no more incidents. It gave us a chance, though, to experience first-hand the importance of riding with proper position and keeping our heels down!