My First Time Riding a Horse…

…was on the back of a Shire. Have you ever seen a Shire before? They’re one of the largest breeds of horses in the world, and back in the old days, they were used as warhorses. They’re absolutely massive. I want to say the one I rode was 22 hands high, but it might have only been 18, though either way that’s super fucking huge.

Alright, so this wasn’t the first time I ever rode a horse, but I didn’t think sitting on a horse as a kid while an adult guided it around a pen really counted. So this would be the first time I rode one while in complete control of the beast. It only lasted a couple minutes, as this was a trial ride, but it was an amazing experience and I felt like I was on top of the world.

I’ve ridden only once since then– this was in October or November, I believe, and unfortunately it wasn’t again on a Shire, but it was for a couple hours and it was still fantastic. I’m taking lessons with a lady I met through UBCO’s medieval club, so now that it’s getting warmer (and isn’t constantly below zero here) I should be going back again soon. Maybe even this weekend!

Here’s a picture of me on Apache last time we went out:

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It’s not a great photo, but it’s the only one that was caught of me. 😦

Anyway, the riding style we’re learning is classic, which is supposed to be pretty difficult but once it’s mastered, we should be able to ride any kind of horse. Ultimately, the goal of learning to ride classic is so we can then learn horseback combat, which I’m super looking forward to! Horseback archery, or swords, or lances, I want to do it all.

Initially, I wanted to learn how to ride because I figured it would offer some good insight for my writing (what better way to do research for something than to go out and do it yourself? It’ll be especially worth it once we start doing mounted combat.

As part of the medieval club, there are also archery practices and foot combat, so I’ll get to talking about all that, as well as mounted combat once I get to try it, some other time.

~Erynn

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