Getting Around on Horseback

I believe there’s something about a horse that just draws you in. I’m not sure if it’s their beauty, their power, their intelligence or the emotions you can see when you look into their eyes. Horses are incredible, and though I admit they often intimidate me, I’m learning to become more accustomed to these animals, all thanks to my friend Daylan.

(Photos by Justin McKee)

(Photos by Justin McKee)

Before getting to know her, I can say I’ve only properly ridden a horse once, back when I was in elementary school. But she’s invited me out to ride on some of her own horses in the past couple of months, and I’ve gladly accepted. Her horses are trained incredibly well because she and her mom offer lessons and are heavily involved with kids in 4-H. This is great for me since I’m such a beginner, and it helps me relax and enjoy the experience even more.

Horseback2This weekend I rode Maggie, while Daylan rode Taters (I love that name) through some fields and around a 4-mile area. It was probably one of the last nice days left this year and by nice, I mean most sunny with a decent temperature  but we still needed to bundle up a bit. Since we were out on some roadways and because it’s hunting season, we chose the safe route and put on some reflective vests.

It’s such a different feeling, riding a horse. You’re more aware of your surroundings and your mind is focused on keeping an eye out, making sure you’re controlling where you want the horse to go (even though it wants to go back to the pasture and does everything it can to try and get there!), and trying to have a calm, yet in-charge demeanor.

Horseback1Though my mind is getting used to riding a horse, my body is not! I need to work on my posture, and saying my muscles and bum ached after a while is an understatement! I’m sore today as well, and expect to be so for probably another day. I’d love to get to the point where that doesn’t happen anymore, but without my own horse, that’s unlikely. But even with the pain, it’s worth it. You’ll definitely discover some muscles you didn’t know existed once you’re done riding!

While we ride, Daylan usually gives me additional tips on how to ride or educates me on the equestrian lifestyle and differences between horse breeds. It’s really interesting and helps me understand these animals a bit better, which of course can improve the riding experience. Though we mostly took the journey at a waking pace, we trotted up some hills and I learned how to save my backside from additional pain!

Horseback4Riding is so much fun and I’m thankful I have a friend who knows what she’s doing and welcomes me to join her. Though it’s nice to ride in these cooler months because you don’t have the flies bothering the horses and it’s not so uncomfortably hot for them, I’m looking forward to riding in warmer temperatures. However, once hunting season ends we might take another ride if there’s a calm winter weekend, and I’m really looking forward to it.

K

About Karin

Journalist, singer, reader, movie fanatic, photography buff, GVSU alum, wanna-be-Brit, Crohn's fighter, Coca-Cola addict, animal lover, not a kid person, hater of winter, Michigander
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