For the first time in almost two years and a long time since the very first time, I put my foot in a stirrup and sat up on a horse. Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Hampton Lodge Equestrian Centre in Brittas, and was very grateful to have the chance to hop up on and ride one of their horses.
This was the first horse I'd ridden that wasn't Tenoso in probably around 5 years. Maybe more actually, but it was weird to see how much I remembered and also how much I'd forgotten. I remembered all of the "theory" and I knew exactly what I was supposed to be doing, but I'd just lost all of my fitness and muscle, I really couldn't ride to the standard I used to.
I was very conscious of how my instinctive riding style was so obviously one that was specifically tailored to Tenoso however. The things that came naturally to me only came naturally because they were what my body has trained itself to know was what would get my horse, Tenoso, to respond.
Adjusting myself to a longer striding horse after Tenoso’s short collected canter was weird and being on a horse that needed constant legging on was weird and I was even freaked out by how much wider this horse felt than Tenoso: how did my body remember how that felt? And don’t even get me started on the sensation of not hitting the ground as soon as I felt I should when dismounting - because the horse I was on was taller than him.
It was emotional, but equally amazing and has truly reignited the fire in me that burns for horses. I miss Tenoso so much, I miss riding more than I can tell you, but this visit really made me realise that for now, this is the end. I just do not have time for this in my life currently. If I didn't have to work, I would, but if I didn't work... well I wouldn't be able to afford to.
Horses were and still are a massive part of my life, and as mentioned in the previous posts in this "series", they could very well be responsible for me finding my love for photography. The year of the horse is coming closer and closer to its end, and even though it's not quite over yet, I know that the guidance from my favourite four legged friends got me through a lot this year, and part of me believes it put me on a new track with new pursuits and goals and ambitions.
I'll continue this series one day, but for now this is the end.
Until next time!