My original intent was that, along with a steady diet of horse-related reading of all sorts, to get the mind into the proper frame & re-learn all I have lost since last riding/doing ANYTHING "horsey" waaay back at age 23, I intended to volunteer at one of the many local riding stables in order to reintroduce myself to those here in Tucson in the world of riding, and then after a few months of such, perhaps decide on a lease, or even only a half-lease.
Sadly, though going out to the stables allowed my husband and myself to meet some very lovely people, BO's and boarders alike, we've found BOs to be VERY HESITANT (understandably, in this backward day and age) to have anyone volunteer to do "hard labor" in exchange for letting me/us just "hang out" and get our feet wet (I am quite physically fit, as is my husband, and we are both more than capable of handling 8h/week or so of mucking stalls, cleaning barns, fixing fences, cleaning tack, WHATEVER! But, there is so much legally at risk with having "unknowns" @ your barn...even under the BOs watchful eye, one of us could get hurt and sue (we'd never sue anyone over such a thing, but even if put in writing, there us SO LITTLE TRUST between people today, again, I get it, it's just sad).
Then, there is risk that a boarder's horse could get injured and then we COULD be liable, simply for being present when the situation occurred. Thus, the volunteer option, for now, us a no-go...
Plan change = I began calling around, interviewing potential trainers to take me on as a student. I had some requirements. No nasty "screamers"...had that trainer for years as kid, and it mattered not how well I rode, there was simply no kindness, no compassion, just "I want results, you WILL DO ALL PERFECTLY, AND YOU WILL SHOW AND WIN!" Echh! NEVER AGAIN! Then, I had the trainer pretty early on with the school horses who were so tough (poor guys, they had such a rough job!) that I got to learn little compared to what I was expected to do to school them...I imagine they made me "horse competent" & I learned a lot about disciplining poor behavior and rewarding the "occasional" listening that they did do. Sadly, though, I was too young to fully grasp WHY the horses didn't listen well to me, my role in such, and it was NEVER EXPLAINED AT ALL to me, so I just assumed I was a terrible rider and not that I needed to adjust myself to prepare for their school horse type tricks to get out of working! By the time I was about 9 & started riding higher level horses with less "school habits", I was a pretty good little rider, but had NO IDEA WHY! This left a lot of insecurities for me to work through.
I digress, as have, as usual, rambled on and gotten off track. Anyhow, this afternoon, I found a woman whom I really "clicked" with! She gives a very few lessons to ensure she is doing it for the love of teaching and not to be an assembly line trainer. She is very experienced, owns a lovely boarding stable/ruding facility near my home, and gives lessons on her own four horses. They are NOT SCHOOL HORSES, so she expects both the rider and the horse to get the very most out of each lesson. She is not pricey, and times her lessons by the goal being achieved as was set at the start of each lesson, rather than the "50 minute hour" so many use! She says the lessons are rarely shorter than 90 minutes, not including tacking and untacking, bathing after if I want to bathe the horse, etc...
She has a lovely, sweet and calm disposition, and a great sense of humor. I can hardly wait! My husband will film my lessons so I can watch my progress as time goes on. I plan to take one lesson every ither week and the inbetween weeks, I am looking into volunteering with a facility that does not have riding as an option, but has a SET-UP VOLUNTEER PROGRAM working with kids with disabilities and being a side-walker, as well as grooming the horses and other barn activities. I think this plan will give me the best of both worlds as a START!
Thanks, guys, for listening. I'm giddy with excitement!! :0)
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