Sunday, October 24, 2010
Done Lost My Cookie Cutter
Having never once even whiffed, much less breathed deeply, of the chloroform of conformity, I do not reflexively consider the word "different" to be a criticism. Several years ago a mother told me that she was looking for a "conventional riding lesson program" for her child.
As that great sage from the 1970's, Mr. T, would say, "I pity the fool that would call me conventional!"
The differences between our program and conventional riding programs can best be viewed by comparing a brief summary of the week's activities at a conventional riding program and the last week at Mill Swamp Indian Horses.
Kids in conventional riding programs across this nation spent the week:
1. Riding in a circle in a sandy arena
2. On a nearly lame 32 year old Warm blood cross
3. Around an embittered, middle aged instructor
4. Who on each third lap snapped, "Sit Up Straight!"
Kids in our program spent the week:
1. With the opportunity for a five mile canter before school
2. A two hour night ride through the woods on Monday in total darkness
3. Trimming hooves and worming difficult horses
4. Joining in for portions of a fifty mile ride on Friday,(or completing another fifty mile in a day ride the way Lydia did, on her own horse that she trained herself, from a colt to an experienced trail horse, all by the ripe old age of 15, (Lydia, not the horse)
5. Painting in Kay's great art class in which some of our riders produce beautiful paintings that are sold at the gift shops of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, the proceeds of which go entirely to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.
6. Mending fences and sowing pastures.
7. Riding through the woods to a Mountain man Rendezvous where they showed the participants the kind of Spanish Colonial and American Indian Horses that mountain men actually rode. (Our youngest rider on that expedition is six years old.)
Except for that, we are just like every other conventional riding instruction program across this nation.
Now sit up straight and ride a circle around me while I yell for you to sit up straight.
Posted by Steve Edwards