finally, a first lesson

So I have now, officially, gone horseback riding in the U.K. Well, where in the world shall I start? I think I will start with the weather.
After TWO DAYS of sun (a record! in a row!), I woke up this morning to a downpour that was going sideways so fast it was making the windows vibrate. After deciding that the prospect of changing in a bathroom at the stables in the freezing cold was...lame...I made the bold decision to wear my black full-seats riding breeches to the barn. On the bus. Ha. Nobody even looked at me. There are people in Manchester who wear FAR weirder clothing than I do, apparently.
The next moment of panic came when the bus driver had no idea where the stop that I wanted was. Luckily, England is filled with helpful little old ladies and one of them got off a stop early to make sure that I knew where I was going. As we tottered down the lane at, like, -5 miles an hour (little old ladies are nice, but not speedy), it started to SNOW. Thank god it appears that my bag is magic and water-resistant because, really, this was getting silly.
I made it wayyyyy early (see earlier problem with bus driver who also convinced me it would take forever), so I had a chance to watch two girls exercising horses. They looked like they were having fun, and it was good to have a chance to sit there and relax into the place. And take two ibuprofen to ward off the sore muscles I am sure are in my future.
This is one of those places where they bring the horse to you all tacked up. It felt as if I had joined some exclusive club where people brought your horses to you and then...watched you ride. Or, in my case, try to ride while attempting, with great difficulty, to remember what the hell I was doing.

The horse was a sweetheart: a six year old TB who was a little green. Complete with head straight up and neck flexed against my hand. So...I rode around. After we got the canter going (and I gave him an impromptu, "no you don't run in the trot on your way to the canter" lesson), he was much better. We jumped a tiny bit, the trainer said I looked fine except for my heels (which I'm sure were sticking straight up in an effort to squeeze the crap out of this horse), and he was being nice and said he loved my jumping position.

And that was the first lesson. We'll see how this shapes up; I had already sent out an email to two random eventers I'd heard of saying "I know I have no right to ride with you, who would you recommend near me...". (One of them was the woman who went UNDER the Trakahener at Burghley like a million years ago and made them change the rule to require everyone to jump over the log.) Hopefully, they will have something to say as well. The barn looked nice, and I think they do a good job, but I really like the three-discipline aspect of eventing.
But, yay, I got to ride! And I'm not sore! well, yet. Although I have made a vow to run more now. Even if it rains and snows again....
Also, I have no idea what exactly happened to the picture at the top of the post. My fingers were numb when I took it with my iPhone, so that apparently gives you a *wavy* shot. Cool, though.