My daughters have been riding horses for just over 4 years now and for the last two they have been particularly active helping get younger riders get ready for lessons, helping around the barn, and most recently, we have been feeding all the horses two evenings a week. Of course they are too young to get there alone or be at the barn alone, so I agreed to stay with them. At first I just sat and read, but it took them a long time and they argued about who was doing what. So I stepped in to delegate and took over the job of putting the grain in the buckets; the girls move horses in and out, and give water and hay. It has been a wonderful experience for all three of us and I have come to enjoy the horses very much. They all have such wonderful personalities, all very different. Well, I finally decided that it was time I learned as well. At first I didn't say anything and kept putting it off, but then I actually mentioned it, so I had to follow through. Today I had my third lesson (the photos below are from my first lesson a couple of weeks ago). I have discovered that getting off is much harder than getting on. Steering isn't too bad, but it is counter intuitive that the opposite leg from your turn is the one you need to squeeze with. And, I must admit that it is much, much harder than it looks. You have to think about body posture, and legs and heels and toes and hands and reins and then on top of it all you have to look where you are going! And when you trot, you have to bounce at the right time! But I have a fantastic instructor who is very patient with children and adults and I'm having a blast. And there are only a couple of muscles that are complaining at the end of the day.
I don't know how long or how far I'll go with this, but I'm pleased that I pushed myself to get out and do something active, it has been good to know I can do it, and I'm very happy I found the time. I highly recommend trying something new to everyone!