Eli Halpin ~ BLOG

English Saddle

Horse Love

Every once in a while I paint horses because I love horses so much. I just love being around them. I've always assumed I would have horses some day in lieu of kids. Well I guess that period of my life is pretty much here because for my 37th birthday I decided to take my horse passion to the next level and I enrolled in private hunter jumper lessons. What does that mean?  I'm not completely sure yet but I assume I will soon be galloping toward a big tall obstacle and flying over it on the back of a big lovely horse beast. For now I'm just learning how to ride first. Its English Saddle style and its private lessons so I get lots of details crammed into my brain every time. My trainer is a total badass and she is very strict and I'm super excited about her. She is the daughter of the owner of the ranch and has been winning ribbons her whole life. Am I scared? Not at all! Its weird because when I tell people I'm going to be jumping horses their eyes bug out a little. My dad is terrified for me and won't let it go that I am about to be bucked into the air and destined to break my bones. I'm not scared I guess because it just feels right. It feels more than right, it feels exhilarating! E.X.H.I.L.A.R.A.T.I.N.G.  Each lesson gifts me with 3 hours of preciousness and when I get in my car after and drive away I feel like a princess. I mean I feel PRIVILEGED! I feel like I just pampered myself to the max. I get to show up at this manicured lovely ranch and walk into the pasture with my pockets full of carrots to find "my" horse, Hubbard.

Then I get to pick the rocks out of his feet while his big body leans on me. His muddy feet are the size of bowling balls in my hands and I thought it was the hardest part but I am getting the hang of it. Plus Hubbard loves getting his feet cleaned so I can tell he appreciates it. He's sensitive on his feet, he hates stepping in puddles or mud and he prefers walking in the grass ditch instead of walking on the dirt road back to the pasture when we are done. After his feet routine I brush him and put on his saddle. The tack is gorgeous leather with brass and buckles and I get to pull Hubbard's ears and mouth through them while wearing pretty black leather lady gloves. I get to wear tall leather boots and a cute helmet that is made in England!

Every one of my senses is happy. I'm learning to talk to him without words and he is starting to respond to me while I am doing less and less poking and pulling at him. I'm starting to talk to him through my calves and fingertips, but also with my psychic brain. Because horses are psychic. They are super juicy delicious prey animals to tigers and they have evolved to listen to their gut feelings about everything to survive. They even see humans as predators. Its so nice of Hubbard to let me ride on his back. Thank you Hubbard.

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