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June 10, 2014: Lessons Learned: Friendship

Last night I again went to lesson with Vickie Talbot. This takes place at Beth’s Two Rivers Ranch out in the Butte area. Getting there has required logistical co-operation. Because of my vision (I have limited depth perception), I ought not (as Pete says) drive the truck and trailer. It’s for this reason that I’m dependent upon Pete and Vickie to get me to and from Beth’s place. I feel really bad about this because I so much want to be able to load up my horse and go. But I can’t do this, so consequently, I’m dependent on my partner and friend to take me to and fro.



We’ve done this two ways. Way #1: I drive Sputnik or the red car to Vickie’s place and give her a lift to our place. We then load Raudi and my tack into my trailer. Vickie drives it to her place, and there we pick up Hunar and her tack. On to Beth’s we go. We return to her place after the lesson ends, and Pete picks me and Raudi up at Vickie’s place. Way #2: Vickie drives her loaded trailer to our place, and picks up me and Raudi. We then go straight to Beth’s place. Later, Pete drives our trailer to Vickie’s place, and takes Raudi and me home. The lessons are lengthy, and no matter how we do it, we don’t get home until at least 10 p.m. Fortunately, we now have plenty of daylight.

I try, in all instances, to do my part by having my horse and gear ready to go. In fact, I prepare in advance for the journey to Beth’s so that I don’t inconvenience either driver.

The rides to and from Beth’s place are a lot of fun. Vickie and I usually talk horse. Vickie is now doing what I consider to be upper level dressage and jumping on Hunar. She’s worked diligently and consistently with him now for at least four years, taking innumerable clinics and lessons, and going to innumerable shows. She’s also spent plenty of time on the trail. The end result is that she makes riding an Icelandic horse look easy. Vickie says about Hunar “He tries so hard!” to which I tell her “You work so hard!”

We started out with me riding in the beginner jumper lesson and Vickie riding in the advanced lesson. The two now have (for me) started to meld together a bit, since I am now allowed to participate in the first part of the second lesson. (This feels to me like it’s a huge honor – I am quite happy about it). In the arena then, Vickie, at the right moment in time, offers me suggestions, suggestions which complement Beth’s directives. For instance, Vickie one time told me to squeeze with my legs three strides before going over the jump. And last night, she told me to look where I was going well in advance of going there. Well, last night I did not do as Vickie said and I really messed up the jump/cavalletti pattern. After, Vickie didn’t chide me, although I think she should have. Instead, she said that I’d gone over the jumps nicely.

I can’t offer Vickie any advice because I’m not only out of her league, but I’m out of the ballpark, and in fact sitting on the truck tailgate. But when it comes time for a lesson, I leave my ego at the arena entrance. It might seem inconsequential to an onlooker, but Rosey and I are now making huge connections in an arena setting. And we are doing this in the company of a good friend. It doesn’t (at least for this horse person) get any better than this.