It Begins

10 04 2012

This morning was my first day attending the riding club as an enrolled member in earnest. Attendance is 7-11am on weekdays (apart from Monday, when the stables are closed). To get there in time, I have to get up at 5am and leave my flat at 6am, but I don’t mind since I have what all the governers in my control centre agree to be a Good Reason. If you’ve got a class that starts before 11am (as was the case for me this morning), they let you leave early.

Immediately upon arrival, I was womanhandled into the girl’s locker room to change again. Then, I was taken outside, handed a large fork and put straight to work mucking out stalls! Everyone was doing it, though, so it wasn’t a case of being picked on for being new; because we’re not used to it yet, myself and one other new girl were both put to work in one stall. It was hard work, but not that I did begrudgingly.

Today, although I didn’t get as long in the saddle as I would have liked, I rode a very tall, handsome chestnut fellow called Hokon (full name: Hokozakura; all the horses are called ‘something-zakura’, presumably because the school’s crest is a sakura blossom).  His name means ‘lance’ or ‘spear’, so it fits with my preoccupation with being King Arthur. Heh. He was lovely, if a tad uncooperative, but the other members explained that on Tuesdays the horses are all lazy and play up a bit because they’ve had Monday off, and I was the third person to ride him that morning. After I’d gone round the yard a few laps with him, we took him back, took his bridle and saddle off and went and cleaned them and put them away; then, we went back to his stall to fetch him again, lead him out into the yard and tethered him; there, I cleaned his hooves and rubbed him down with lukewarm damp towels before grooming him and putting him back in his stall, all under the instruction and close supervision of my sempai. Of course it was lovely, but that and mucking out the other horse’s stall was hard work – it made me think that the reason why horsey girls have such tight bodies isn’t *so* much because of the riding itself, it’s because horse husbandry is really pretty strenuous!

Thereafter, it turned into a comparatively long day. Tuesdays are the day I have the most classes at university; three hours of Japanese split either side of lunchtime followed by a 90 minute tea ceremony practical class. By rights I should have been tired by the end of it, but I was actually still feeling fairly energetic. Benefits of a good workout in the sunshine first thing in the morning?…

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