One hundred horses, all in a row

Actually more like 107 horses.  That is how many horses live in the new barn just a five minute drive from my office.  That's (to quote Chris Traeger) LITERALLY the most horses that I've ever seen under one roof.

I rode on Friday, for the first time in 2013.  And it felt - strange.  Not that the riding felt strange.  The riding came back rather quickly, to the protestation of my leg and back muscles (they're still very angry with me).  The barn, the lesson, the experience felt oddly foreign.

It's not my first time being a newbie at a barn.  Nor is it my first time riding.  But for some reason, I felt nervous, a little like the new kid at school.  100+ horses in a big metal barn compared to the 30 horses who lived in three separate wooden buildings at my old trainer's farm.  Even though I used to have to drive an hour outside of town for a lesson, be attacked and clucked at by guinea fowl and barked at by her 15-something dogs that she sheltered.  I would arrive to kind words and funny stories.  The lush green arena that we rode in - the only grass hunter / jumper arena I've seen to this day - and jumps, shaped like wine glasses and bottles that read "Chardo" on one side and "Neigh" on the other.  I'm just a little homesick.  Even for the cacophony of the dogs.

It was strange.  No dogs at this new barn.

Maybe this week, it won't feel so odd to ride again.  And maybe, some day soon this week, my legs will process that lactic acid and I'll be able to stand up and walk.*

*Exaggeration, folks, I can walk.  Barely.  And it doesn't feel good.


  1. Honestly? Find a new barn. Even if you have to drive a little further. This really sounds like your gut feeling is telling you one thing (you're uneasiness, the way you describe it in a completely different way to the other one) but your brain is trying to tell you that it's all ok. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it's not just homesickness I think... xo

  2. I would like to offer encouraging words for the big barn, but even I'm feeling a bit homesick for the other.

  3. I would definitely have liked your old barn better with the dogs and the birds and I no longer really ride horses. I used to when I was a little kid {like 7 or 8} without saddles, just a harness and we'd go through the woods, but then my friend got bitten and at that age/size her whole arm was bruised. I've been back on but it's not the same for me, and that pain definitely happens.

    I do want a Fresian to wander around my backyard when I'm older though, you will be welcome to ride it. Maybe I'll get a cow too. :)

    Perhaps you can look around to see if there is another, smaller barn you can go to? One with a bit more personality?

  4. "your uneasiness" - I hate it when I make writing mistakes like that... ;-)

  5. Like all new things, this will take some getting used to. You have to give this place a chance to make the same memories your last place did. But I like the comments above of maybe finding a smaller barn, too, if you think that suited you more. I still think it's amazing that you ride. I've never been on a horse, unless you count the pony ride at the zoo.

  6. I´ve been on a horse one single time in my whole life, and that´s about 30 years ago... I hope to learn to ride one day though! :-)

  7. I so wish I can ride horses...or at least even try once:P
    How great is that that's it so close to you, Rooth! You'd be back on the saddle in no pun intended:)

  8. I'd love more than anything to take a few riding lessons and really get into it as a hobby. I would not mind one bit to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and spend some time near ACTUAL green grass. ;)

  9. i used to ride horses when i was very small and even have a few ribbons from some good old fashioned rodeos. these ribbons and trophies were at my demise later when as a teen i thought riding a horse after a long time was like riding a bike. not so much. i went off for a gallop and i am positive i dislocated my hip, but being such a shy person full of pride i just stepped down in the stirrups and shoved it back in place. that was painful ; ) ps, i loved your riding boots on instragram!

  10. You need to get back up on that horse as soon as possible! Well, that usually seemed to be the best prescription for my first-day-back muscle soreness (from other types of physical activity, never riding). Hair of the dog. That's the last cliche (for now).

    The barn sounds very "commercial". If, after a few visits, it detracts from your enjoyment, hopefully you can find another riding center.

    PS - Yay for the Parks & Rec reference!

  11. Ouch! Riding again after a long time off is so painful. I always found changing barns so much harder than changing jobs or changing schools - I guess it's because horsey people are quite... tough on newbies. At least in my experience. So the fear of judgement is so much worse. It'll get better though, it always does. And that is a lot of horses!!


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