Learning in New England
Just introducing myself here. :)
I'm 31 and live in eastern Massachusetts. Right now I'm an EMT, child-wrangler/human jungle-gym at a health club, and a student in paramedic school. I spent a lot of my adolescence doing trail rides a few times a year, then went to college and had a lot of things happen that kept me from riding at all for a long time.
I just started formal riding lessons a couple of months ago, and I'm very much enjoying it. Right now I'm working on getting a real sound foundation in walk and trot, and learning to stay relaxed and trust myself and my horse. Well, "my" horse. He's a barn/school horse, but he's my regular partner, and I try to squeeze in as much time as I can with him. I am very fortunate that the barn is small and friendly, and not far from either the hospital where I am doing clinical rotations, or my school, so I have the opportunity to visit outside of lesson times to say hello to my "Tall Vegetarian Friends".
One of my favorite things about riding so far has been how much the experience permeates and informs the other things I do, including my job. Physical and emotional balance, and confidence, as well as new ways of thinking and moving. Plus, when we have a good thing going, it feels like we're thinking together or dancing together. It sounds like it should be obvious, but I remember my third or fourth lesson, I caught my ("my") horse's eye, took a look in it, and thought, "huh. look at you in there, thinking away." It's hard to describe it, just that moment of looking in and seeing that individual personality in there, looking back at me as an individual.
Speaking of "my" horse, his name is Toby, he is (I'm guestimating, based on where my head reaches) about 16hh (ish? that seems like a high estimate) gelding of indeterminate origins, though there's some sort of draft in there somewhere apparently. He's bay and white, I think it'd be a tobiano pattern of some kind, but not sure. He's an older guy (late teens), a bit lazy, but strong and steady.
As long as the windchills stay above 20F (per my instructor's limits), and there's no ice, we'll be riding together through the winter. :) (and hopefully onward)