Win Some, Lose Some

5 05 2012

Riding club was a little bit frustrating today, truth be told. Usually on Saturdays the club meets from 12:00 until 17:00, but today it started at 07:00 just like a weekday or a Sunday. Today, it ran over by two hours. That in itself wasn’t frustrating as I had no other plans for the day and I enjoy being there.

The frustration came from not getting to ride in spite of being told twice I would today. First, after mucking out Napoleon II (who wins the award for ‘Most Affected Pedigree Name’)’s stall with him still in it. He was very well behaved and kept calmly out of my way as I did this, although he did smack his lips a bit at first which, while comical, I understand to be something horses do when they’re stressed. I just left him alone and got on with it, and he stopped doing it after I’d been in there for a while. Once I’d finished, I went outside to ask if I could help sweep out the yard, and was told by one of the upper year students that I would be riding a horse called Yuki. I got very excited by this; Yuki is the oldest and possibly the biggest horse there, and comes from Belgium, so I suspect he’s a Belgian Warmblood; he’s also a white horse, and on a vain level I thought I’d look TOTALLY BADASS in my black rider gear atop a white horse.

However, this was sadly not to be. The team captain was practising dressage on him first, and said I wouldn’t ride Yuki after him, but would ride Tifon instead – the horse who broke my foot. I spent most of the morning stood around watching the more experienced riders practise dressage, was then called into the arena to help with the fences during show-jumping practice (which is hard, because you have to shout out to the rider what sort of fence is coming up as they approach it, in Japanese, and I’m having trouble remembering the names of all the different kinds of fence-arrangement), in which Tifon was used, but then taken  back into the stables to be washed and put back without any word as to why I wasn’t going to get a turn.

Then I was put to work cleaning horse boots and doing laundry. I felt a bit cheated that I’d spent such a long time there and hadn’t had much chance to interact with the horses directly, but then I guess you have to take the rough with the smooth.

On my way home I decided to have a massage, as standing still for prolonged periods is starting to give me twinges in my back between my spine and my shoulder blades. I couldn’t really afford it, but it was discounted at least, and for what it’s worth I feel much better now, even if I was amused that the masseur kept apologising for touching me throughout, even though that was what I was paying him for. It struck me as being very Japanese.

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