This is the first blog in my Saturday Switch Series. This one was written by Katie from Woes of Wellies. I hope you enjoy it!
- Going up to your local yard every weekend for your regular riding lesson.
Many of you will remember, as a child, getting really excited for your weekly riding lesson. You got your pink jodhpurs and your sparkly star riding crop out and headed off to the stables for your lesson on your
- Having one favourite pony at the riding school.
I know that I certainly had my favourite pony at my riding school. You booked your lesson on him every week and you were devastated if you found out someone else had booked on him. If you were a really devoted pony lover, you might have even bought a special head collar or lead rope to use on him when it was your lesson.
- Doing a Round-the-World at the end of a lesson.
I don’t know why but this was always the most exciting part of a lesson. Taking your feet out of the stirrups and getting a leader to hold your pony while you bum-shuffled your way around the saddle seemed like such a great idea at the time… I think that if you tried to do this at a horse show at your age now you would get some funny looks!
- Paying ridiculous amounts of money to do a pony-for-a-day.
You knew it was half term when you booked a pony-for-a-day on your favourite pony. You got to brush, feed, tack-up and ride your favourite pony. You thought it was great fun, your parents thought it was great fun too, you were gone all day! The riding school couldn’t believe they were getting some kids to look after the ponies all day and they were earning money from it!
- Getting super excited when you did Gymkhana games.
Who could forget the boot race? Taking one boot off, putting it on the outside of the ménage and racing to ride up the school, get off your horse and get your boot back on. You always ended up with sand in your boot and someone always fell off.
- Dreaming of becoming one of the stable girls/boys.
That was everyone’s first dream job, helping out at the stables on a Saturday. When you were finally old enough to work there you realised that it was cold, long days. But even now you have fond memories of your first job.
- Having to try and figure out what your riding instructor meant by ‚more leg‘.
A common theme with riding school ponies was that they were ‚dead to the leg‘. No matter how much you kicked and kicked you still struggled to get out of walk. Your instructor’s advice was usually „more leg!“ but you thought that if you gave any more leg, your legs would drop off!
- Having the time of your life at the stables.
You made some of your best friends at the stables, and I’m not just talking about the horses. You learned to ride with the kids at the stables, you also learned to fall off! Some unbreakable bonds were formed and I bet you still talk to some of them now.
It took hard work and commitment to be a pony-mad kid. Every weekend was spent at the stables and you were always know as the horsey kid at school, but nevertheless you survived it and you’re most likely still the same pony mad kid you were then.