Tonight’s class was fun but chaotic! Ominous clouds threatened us as we got the horses ready and did a few chores. When the riders arrived they told of seeing thunder and lightning on the way out to the farm from the city. While rain won’t typically stop a class, thunder and/or lightening will – even though we’re inside, we can’t take any chances with the horses being spooked or risk someone getting electrocuted through a door or window!The class started off on a somewhat awkward note, since Robin (the regular instructor) had to explain why she wouldn’t be able to attend class the following week, and there was some discussion over how we would be able to mount one of the riders. She experiences more difficulty from her physical limitations, and the substitute instructor is a slight woman with a bad back. Once it was decided that the following week will be a ground class during which the riders will practice yoga moves, we started class, and that when the real fun began!
Not only were the barn’s two newest additions (yellow tiger-striped kittens) all “in the mix” and running underfoot as we tried to mount and begin circling the arena for our lesson, but the goats outside were bleating and on the move due to the rising wind and impending storm, causing the horses to shuffle and peek out the doors uneasily.
Brave souls that we are, we decided to proceed until the first strike of lightening or clap of thunder, but as the rain began to come down in buckets, we realized that it presented problems of its own! Not only were we getting drenched as rain gusted in when we passed the open doors at the ends and on one side of the indoor arena, but the noise of it colliding with the roof was drowning out everything else. Amazingly, the horses took it in stride, lazily plodding around the arena, keeping their charges safe.
Luckily, the violent downpour was short-lived and soon became a pleasant—albeit steady—rain shower that was much easier to deal with. Our surprises kept coming, however, in the form of equipment malfunctions! First, my rider’s saddle kept sliding back, despite multiple adjustments and the fact that it’s the same one she always uses! Then, the other rider’s reins were deemed too short, and class had to be held up while we figured out a way to get new ones without leaving the riders unattended. Next, the radio stopped working while we were trying to play a game!
Although the riders did a great job, and they were very patient during all of tonight’s challenges, I think we all breathed a sigh of relief when the hour was up, the storm had passed and we were all headed home in one piece!