Tuesday, October 09, 2007

No hour of life is wasted that is spent on the saddle

People on horses look better than they are. People in cars look worse than they are.

-Marya Mannes

Let me tell you that the quote is applicable only for seasoned riders. A newbie would look like a dumbo. :)

Well, yes. The much awaited horse riding classes that I have been talking about kicked off yesterday. The excitement and anticipation that had been brewing in me gradually with each passing day finally culminated to an spirited high today. All these days I have been consciously trying to sink myself into an equestrian mindset, surrounding myself with horse movies and books. I watched movies like ,The Black Stallion and The Sea Biscuit again and again to ingrain in me the psyche of a horse and help connect with it. I also learnt that Sea Biscuit, the book is fat better than the movie. And I ordered myself a second hand book.

If it were not for Bangalore Mountaineering Club, i wouldn't have ever ventured into such an experience. I can vouch for their professionalism in organizaing all adventure activities, be it camps, treks or expeditions.

So, what is it about horse riding?

More than the physical benefits, it is the pyschological aspects that lures you.


Horse riding is recognized as having excellent therapeutic qualities. Simply being outdoors and enjoying the outskirts boosts your general well-being and acts as a great stress buster. There is a real sense of exhalation and freedom when you ride, a feeling that is second to none. Furthermore, developing a relationship and sense of trust between yourself and your horse is highly rewarding. Learning to control and care for an animal much larger than yourself can have a profound affect on your confidence and is a great feeling.

(more pics to be uploaded)

Horse riding is a great form of exercise which has both cardiovascular and muscle conditioning benefits. Although it may seem as though the rider is not engaging in any physical exercise, an hour's activity can burn similar calories to that of a 30-minute jog (6mph) or cycle ride (9mph). Therefore, all the health benefits associated with engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise are gained. After your first ride you may feel muscles that you never knew you had. This is due to the movement of the horse and its affect on the rider during the ride. As the rider reacts to the horse's movements to avoid becoming off balance, the deep postural muscles of the trunk and pelvis and the adductor muscles of the thighs are continuously being conditioned.

The Agenda we have been given for Module 1:

Day 1: Introducing the horse, mounting and dismounting, balance and posture building.
Day 2: Repeat the previous lesson and introduce the new tasks like walk & trot.
Day 3: Repeat the first and second lesson, depending on the riders ability to learn.
Day 4: Horse Management, learn about horsemanship.
Day 5: Grooming, tacking, feeding and repetition of previous lessons. (Partial)
Day 6: Repeating the previous lesson and introducing new task - Cantering.
Day 7: Test on independent riding.
Day 8: Outride day
Day 9: Grooming, tacking, bridling, feeding and sadledown (without assistance)
Day 10: Individual test riding in the arena.
Day 11: Repeat all the lessons and theory exam for 10 mins.
Day 12: Outside Jolly ride in a group.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~
Winston Churchill

(I haven't expressed my experiences here. I would be saving it till the last day when I complete module 1. But yes, The feeling of oneness between a man and horse is second to none. Do come back!)


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