You know I love horses. You know I’d love to ride horses. You know I can’t because of a pesky little (actually big) neck problem that has my orthopedic surgeon restricting anything that might “jolt” my neck and back – like getting bucked off a horse (dang it). So, like some of you who live the Island experience through this blog, last week I lived the riding experience through a new friend on the Island. She took an adult riding class for beginners – and I tagged along.
I met Mary about two weeks after we arrived on the island this spring. I was walking past the Grand and heard someone say, “Bree?” I turned, and a young woman with a beautiful smile was walking toward me. She introduced herself and told me that she followed my blog and was hoping to meet me this year. Mary is the Director of Grounds & Golf at the Grand Hotel, and she and I have chatted several times over the summer.
During the Festival of the Horse, Mary and I talked about the Adult Riding Lessons offered by the Mackinac Horsemen’s Association. She shares a love of horses with me, and wanted to learn to ride. I told her my “neck” story and asked her to let me know if she took the lessons. I wanted to come watch and take pictures (with her permission, of course).
So last week I walked over to Turtle Park to watch Mary’s first lesson. There were four women taking the classes offered by Lisa Eckhardt, a summer resident on Mackinac Island for the last seven years. Lisa has been training riders for over 20 years and has experience in western pleasure, reining, working cow horse, English equitation, dressage and driving.
I think I was more nervous than Mary.
Thanks, Mary, for allowing me to “ride” along with you. Hmmm . . . where’s the number for my bone doctor? I wonder if I could just SIT on a Friesian????