Yesterday, I had my second lesson on Wilco at my new stable, The Friesian Empire. I admit to two things — I was immediately entranced by the name “Friesian Empire” and I was equally appalled at the size of Wilco. My God, he’s huge! I mean — big!!! I’m not used to that! But then again, I’m not used to much.
As to the name, who could not be entranced by a stable with the word “empire” in the title? It conjures up so many images — a woman in a silk gowns riding side-saddle along country lanes as apple blossoms drop from trees — all of this occurring during the high Renaissance — while the noble steed carries his mistress safely. Yum!
Of course, we are in Ohio in mid-February and there are a) nary an apple blossom to be seen and b) the High Renaissance is long past and c) riding in a silk gown sounds like a terrible idea.
Wilco is still pretty noble. He’s all black with a permanently alert cast to his face and wavy mane hair.He also has a cute little handlebar moustache on his upper lip. Awww!!!
And when I first got up on him, I thought that I would die. His steps are huge, yea, for his trot tosseth me up and down in the saddle as his great hindquarters roll and swell, liken unto the waves in a vast sea in which I am but a light caravel; a boat made for speed not endurance.
But Amanda was right there on the end of the longe line, talking calmly making useful suggestions as we walked about in a circle. When we finished, I felt sad. I couldn’t tell why until I made myself think about it for a moment; I missed my former teacher, Laura, who took a job out of town, and busy little Vegas, the plucky mare I rode for three months at my weekly lesson in Delaware.
Yesterday’s lesson was much better. Amanda dug out a dressage saddle for me for my second foray on Wilco. Ooooh my! I’d never experienced a dressage saddle before and I’ve got to say, I liked it fine! It was so nice, wide and big. It had a little handle-grippy thing on it too, which I didn’t use. I did, however, use Wilco’s mane as we trotted.
And we did trot. I was better at giving him commands, better at remembering to ask with my legs rather than haul on his mouth — after all, who will win a pulling contest? The smart money’s on Wilco — better at getting his attention so he doesn’t spook, and better at sitting back at the trot rather collapsing into the semi-crouch in a useless attempt at protecting my internal organs.
Isn’t it great that things get better?