Thursday, August 29

horse camp

I remember now why I hated going to summer camp, and eventually away to college. Standing alone on that great, unknown campus as my mom drove away, having only a strange room and stranger roommate to go back to, left me feeling much like I did at eight, an introvert in a sea of summer camp activity, feeling as though a week might last longer than I could stay alive.

School horse
It's the strangeness of a new place that is so stressful for me. I suppose if I were an extroverted stimulation-seeker, new places would be like crack to an addict, but I like being comfortable.

One day soon I may be comfortable in this new place, with its tall, dense trees and a bathroom I share with women I just met, both from other countries. In the past two days, in addition to learning new surroundings, my classmates and I have endured testing, hours of lecture and hands on training. It's an intensive, alright. Makes me think I should have stayed home with my dog.

But, when a pony came to class on the first day, I knew I was in the right place. This facility is the nicest I've ever experienced, therapeutic or otherwise, and every staff member I've met seems genuine and supportive.

I'm living in a cottage a brief walk's away from our classroom and the rest of the facility. Being the only one with a car, I chauffeured my Brazilian and Korean housemates to the grocery store so we can begin keeping house in our new digs. I would never have guessed that therapeutic riding was a thing in South Korea, but then again, it seems Asia is big into just about anything.

So far we've toured the facility, begun an acquaintance with the horses, heard lectures on the history of therapeutic riding and why the horse is so fitted to it, and learned the aspects of side walking (supporting the rider from the side of the horse during a lesson) and leading a horse to be responsive.  

There's really so much more to say, but my poor little brain can't handle the workload, and so off I go to dream about Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis....after all, my favorite camp activity was quiet time.