Those Ex-Race Horses

Back in the day, some of us used to take riding lessons, graduating from the Pony Club to the BHS, with full knowledge of how to tack our horses, having memorised that blue handbook and the dressage tests. We rode at a stable with ex-race horses, which meant they had a temper and were very fast (read: trot = gallop). So even the mediocre riders like myself had the occasional ride, when all the best horses had been taken, that were more like rodeo sessions and made one want to quit. Once, I went rode one of the naughtiest horses of all, because my mother said I could ride it. I could not. She could have, but that is another story. I was thrown to the ground and had the wind knocked out of me. And one of the women, who was as if born on a horse, who had brought in her own towering black beauty, so it was not an ex-race horse, witnessed the whole thing, and asked that I immediately get on her horse so I wouldn't spend the rest of my life dreading the creatures.
Her horse was so nice; like the kind children dream about, galloping in slow motion across the plains...
And I was thinking of this today as, for the second time this week, I was so pleased with this year's group of students. I don't want to get my hopes up, but it seems like after three years of students with egos bigger than their cahiers, this year, I may be cured of my occasional dread of teaching by students with whom it is possible to work. There is a reason we are told to get back on the horse, one day, there is a reason.

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