So today marked the first day that Katie and Alice say is really typical. I rode six horses over the course of the day: Herodes, Pastrocito, Twilight, Silene, Mauro and Luli. Martin has us all work over a pole exercise with all of the horses, which was really cool because it let the different challenges with each particular horse come to light. After the morning of riding, the client came for the final day to try Herodes and Pierrette one more time, and then the day finished up with the usual grooming of horses and cleaning of tack. I've always really enjoyed the last bit of time at the barn, when all the main things are done and everyone is relaxed and chatting.
I'm really enjoying my lessons with Martin. The same thing is always emphasized: rhythm and feel. The first lesson of the day was a bit different than the rest: we rode a combination and had to stretch one hand above our heads on the approach and look up at it. This set us in a good position, though it definitely felt awkward at times!
I have a ton to learn here and the horses are all giving me an education too. It's truly amazing how much there is to learn and know. Not only about riding (though in that sphere my eyes have been opened, and I've come to realise just how inexperienced I really am), but also about the Argentine culture and the Spanish language. I'm really enjoying getting the chance to bumble along in Spanish with the stablehands, who are pretty patient and polite enough to correct me when I make a stupid mistake-- though Katie promises that won't last long! They tease me a lot for having a "Mexican" accent, which I suppose I picked up through my proximity to dear old Canelo, Cesar, Isaias and the rest of the guys!
I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of Argentina and seeing Martin ride more-- watching him school Herodes today was an education in and of itself. If I can be half that good at some point in my life, I think I will be happy! I can't wait to go back to the Hippico and take some pictures if I can.