Newbie Lessons

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Whenever you embark on something new there are always some important lessons learned. Some of them……………… are more embarrassing than others……………..

1. Never leave your spurs on the fence.

This is an old cowboy saying.
I’ve used it myself many times, but I also ride A LOT of baby horses. And while I’m particularly suicidal brave, I’ll never be the kind of colt starter that climbs on for the first ride with spurs on.

Um. no.

When I ride someone elses horse for the first time I usually skip the spurs. Just in case……..

So when I found myself headed out for my first “gallop” in a group of horses…….. all I could think of was MY horses, who are all off the track….

  I had visions of being run away with…………in front of everyone………

how embarrassing……………….

I left the spurs off.

Fortunately they put me on the most level headed of the group, being the newbie and all…………

Soon I found myself getting left more…………and more behind.

Never – EVER – leave your spurs on the fence.
 

2. Dark clothes are a must.

I’ve always worn light colored riding clothes. I live where it’s unbelievable horribly hot, and I always went for the lighter colors thinking it attracted less heat. Of course I would wear “other” clothes for all my barn chores, and then change into my riding clothes just before riding and then change out of them after.

Working students might get on horses at any moment throughout the day. Hack this one, trot this one, cool out this one……….. oh your lesson is in 20 minutes…………… This is the first time I’ve had to work all day in riding clothes.

I found out very quickly that by 8:00AM my lovely tan breeches, were no longer lovely….. or tan.

Buy dark colors. Trust me.

3. I’ve never actually done a trot set.

 
Ok, I’ve trotted my horse for 30 minutes.

 
Sure. Of course I have.
 
But………….apparently it was more of a Western Pleasure style jog,…..

because when I was sent out for my first “trot” and I learned what that meant………………..

 
I realized I have never in my life actually “trotted”.

Who knew?!

4. Use Two Hands for everything.

Scooping feed.

Currying.

Brushing.

I’m certain that it was really a working student that first discovered…….

Wax On Wax Off.

5. I don’t, in fact, have lice.

When I did a pretty intense riding boot camp last year I started having some head itching issues……..

 I thought maybe it was the humidity, the long hair stuffed in the helmet all day………………

When I went home & back to my mostly-work & not-much-riding life….. it went away.

I didn’t think a lot about it.

So when I came back for my working student gig AND I had cut all my hair off………

I thought surely it wouldn’t happen again.

But this time after a couple of days in a helmet it was WORSE.

I was convinced I had ringworm or lice or something horrible. Then it dawned on me. I’m allergic to plastics & detergents of all varieties. The lining in my helmet is different in the place my head was itching and when I got enough mirrors together to make sure I didn’t, in fact, have lice, I discovered HIVES.

OMG I’m allergic to my helmet!

And now I get to make an even better fashion statement in THIS new accessory.

Bad Eventer in the house…………………….

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5 thoughts on “Newbie Lessons

  1. Kate

    I always had a pair of sweatpants handy to pull on over my breeches. They're a lot cheaper to replace than FITS, so if they get torn by hay/stained by manure/chewed on by a foal, it's $15 not $150! Sucks in August though…

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