One weekend I noticed my horseback riding coupons were starting to accumulate and two were on the edge of expiring. I hadn’t gone riding for months and now was a good time to do so. I had really missed being around horses and had been preoccupied with a big family project for months =( and desperately deserved a break from everything.
We arrived at Summit Farm, nestled in pretty North Salem, with a few minutes to spare. A sheep who had been grazing on the grass and tied to a fence, along with his two cat friends (a tuxedo and a marmalade tabby), greeted my husband and I as we wandered around the premise looking for the instructor. She had been running a few minutes late and was finishing up a riding lesson in the indoors paddock. The instructor’s name was Pam. Originally I was supposed to ride Abbey Horse; however, the girl who leases her decided to go riding that afternoon too so I was paired off with Hondo Horse instead.
Hondo was a tall paint quarter horse mix of 11 years. Though he appeared calm, as every school horse should, he had a stubborn streak in him. I was warned that he liked to challenge newbies by stalling every once in a while. He did just that to me. I had to give him occasional nudges and squeezes to encourage him to continue walking. I really couldn’t blame him for not wanting to cooperate since he had just been ridden by the previous student. He had rested for no more than ten minutes before we began the lesson so I did feel empathy for him. My AmazonLocal voucher was for a half hour of instruction so before Hondo and I started to get used to one another, the lesson was already drawing to a close. Though I may experience much more fatigue and muscular pain during my one hour lessons, I do prefer and would recommend them over the half hour ones. It does take time to get accustomed to one’s instructor, horse, and riding equipment. I spent most of my time concentrating on just the basics- afterall, it had been a while since the last lesson. I had used a riding crop for the first time and if you know me, could easily guess that I was very uneasy at first to use it on Hondo for fear of hurting him. To my relief, it was unlike a whip and was a gentle reminder that he needed to progress forward. Pam was a pleasant instructor to work with and also showed much patience towards Hondo.
The atmosphere of Summit was fairly carefree. My husband and I walked around the farm watching the animals playing, grazing, and basking in the sun… So many lovely lovely horses I’ve seen too! Have you ever looked into the eyes of a horse and saw that beyond a giant powerful exterior was a gentle, sensitive, and curious entity? Humans must be very strange to them. I hope they have seen more kindness from us than anything else.
I’m a typical city girl, but with dreams of owning a horse someday and an alpaca farm.