I tried to title this post: “Who Can Ride My Horse? Blog Hop – Can I Ride Your Horse? Edition.” But that is hella long and also looks really awkward with all that funky grammar.
Anyway. Olivia over at Hellomylivia started an informal blog hop about how she decides who can ride her horse. It’s been really interesting to read the other bloggers’ takes on who they allow to ride their horses. I have a slightly different perspective.
At this time in my life, I don’t own a horse. Goodness, I would love to. But part of adulting is knowing when to be financially responsible…i.e. No, Lisa, you cannot buy that horse. Or that one. Nope, not that one, either.
So what is a horseless adult amateur to do? Beg rides off other people’s horses, obviously. That worked out fabulously at my last barn, where I slowly proved my worth and riding cred until the barn owners allowed me to work with one of their youngsters, Drifter. Before that, I was privileged enough to ride many other boarder’s horses, including Twinkle long term.
And now I’m at a new barn. I no longer have the benefit of relationships built on trust and horse owners seeing me ride for years. I’m not about to go up to anyone and ask if I can ride their horse. I already know the answer to that. But here’s how I “ask” if I can ride someone’s horse. Spoiler alert: It takes a long time.
- Work hard. Right now I’m only able to take one lesson per week. I do my best to arrive on time or early and be very focused during lessons. I put my head down and work. I listen to every instruction – whether directly to me or to one of the other girls in my group. I ask questions if I have them, but otherwise I try to keep socializing for tacking up and cooling out. You can bet people notice this. I know for a fact that my new trainer has.
- Watch and learn. When I can, I stay and watch other riders’ lessons. There’s so much to be learned, especially when watching more experienced riders. But every lesson can teach you something, and being hungry for new knowledge is also noticed and appreciated.
- Make friends and make your desires known. Building relationships with other riders and boarders is probably the fastest way to find yourself a catch ride. I’m not saying to get to know people just to ride their horses – building friendships with other horse people at the barn is fulfilling and fun on its own. At the end of the day, someone might like you enough to offer a ride.
- Be humble. No one owes you anything. (Okay, except your trainer, who owes instruction because that’s what you pay them for. Obviously.) Leave your ego at home. Seriously, don’t be afraid to pick up horse poop for other people. They will love you for it. Help out at shows or lessons. And don’t expect anything in return.
Maybe someone will offer you a ride, and maybe they won’t. Regardless, you’ll have good friends, more knowledge and plenty of experience under your belt for when the time comes that you can finally get your own horse. And believe me – when that day comes, I’ll certainly be on the lookout for a deserving adult ammy who needs a little extra saddle time.