Monday, February 1, 2010

I haven't even been out to the ranch yet!!!



This is the first post of the blog that I hope to continue for a long time.

This picture is me at my wedding- this isthe horse who drew our wedding carriage. As soon as he pulled up, I was ready to stuff him under my dress and run! Yeah, I still hear the little voice in my mind: "LOOKIE! HORSIE!!"

I've always been horse-crazy, but due to financial and location constraints, the closest I ever got to owning a horse was my Breyer foal, given to me as a birthday gift. Many a shoe-string experienced career changes from keeping Keds on feet to being a makeshift horse bridle for a 6 inch roan filly.

My first horseback riding lesson starts in 5 days. I'm 32, and over the years have clocked around 15 hours on a horse in total for my entire life; 10 minutes of that being my first horse experience, sitting on the back of a Belgian at the Cow Palace in San Francisco during the Grand Nationals- I was about 13.

No, I didn't say I rode him, I said I SAT on him. The owner probably saw the desperation in my eyes as I started at all of the horses tied up, their shiny rumps facing me with their fancy braided tails.
He asked me, "Wanna sit on 'im?" I'm sure I nodded, and I'm also sure I didn't speak, just squeaked. He picked me up, put me on him, let me sit there for a few minutes while I had the first experience of feeling the warm, living, breathing animal underneath me. The Belgian was black, and barely twitched an ear at me, way too busy devouring the alfalfa in front of him to care about me.

After that, all I could do was dream about horses, beg my mother to buy the latest issue of Horse Illustrated for me, check out every single library book about horses repeatedly, draw horses, and force my Barbie dolls to dislocate their hips to squeeze on to my 2 plastic horses.

Silly Barbies.

I'll regale my other horse experiences in future posts.

I've been pondering the idea of getting a horse. I'm an adult now, in charge of my own destiny, and have the ability to make it happen. I started searching on websites, looking at tack, pricing boarding facilities and mentally preparing to own a horse.

Then I realized- I wouldn't know the first thing about caring for a horse.

So I started pondering the idea of leasing a horse- the responsibility of ownership would be gone!! It'd certainly be cheaper, since I'd only ride 1-2 times a week, and I'd get my fill of horse-ey-ness.

Then I realized- I wouldn't know the first thing about grooming, tacking up, or riding a horse.

Square one. So then I decided maybe I should take some lessons, to see if that crazy-ness is still in my veins, and if it is, then learn the skills necessary to care for a horse. A horse is a living creature, and jumping feet first into caring for one, is, in my opinion, not only stupid, but cruel.

The title of this blog, you've noticed, is Big Green Girl.

Girl, because I'm female, and though I'm 32 years old, I've always felt like a girl- youthful, chipper, and enthusiastic.

Green, because that's the term in the horse world for an untrained horse. I am a green rider, since I have no experience in the horse world.

Big, because I weigh 200lb. Yes, you read that right. I weigh 200lb. Before you start getting on my case about body weight and horseback riding, I'll say this: I started my weight loss journey at 257lb. I am still on my journey, and understand that a heavy rider is a strain on any horse.
Just know that I don't expect to be loping around on a horse for quite a while, so as my journey continues, I'll weigh less and less. And you're probably not perfect either.

So check back on my journey if you've been thinking about taking riding lessons as an adult. I'll post up after each lesson, and let you know how it goes.

Wish me luck!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on you're weight loss! That's awesome. Definite cause for celebration!

If you find a horse appropriate for a larger rider the weight isn't an issue. It's more important that you have core strength and balance so you can control your body as the horse moves beneath you. Think of a child's piggy back ride. If the child sits quietly the "horse" is freer to move. When the child moves a lot of top of the "horse" the "horse" can barely move.

Keep up the good work!

Hearsegirl said...

That's a good way to think of it- Thanks for the kind words!

Sand. said...

Hi There,

Just started reading your blog (working on my own about owning my first horse), and wanted to let you know that I think it's fabulous that you're finally following your dreams to ride, and are making it happen. Moreover, I think that horses (riding, care, handing and all the barn chores that come with them) is the BEST excercise in the world! Because you're just loving the experience!

Hope you keep blogging! And don't feel too rushed to get a horse...took me 4 years of looking and I'm soo glad that patience found me my boy. He's nothing I dreamed of wanting, and everything I need! : )

BigGreenGirl said...

Thanks for the kind words Sand! Let me know where I can find your blog- I'd be interested in reading other experiences.