Okay, I admit it. I’m spoiled. Every week, I have a one hour private dressage lesson. My time away from the family, work and dogs. It’s all about me and I like it that way. Hmmm, there has been a time or two when it would’ve been nice to divert my instructor’s attention elsewhere…

Oops! Sorry.

As I was saying, my lessons are private, but that doesn’t mean I’m the only one in the ring. I usually share the space with another instructor and her students. Notice, I said students. This weekend her student group swelled to 5! <gasp!> I know! 5! That meant 6 horses and 2 instructors. The instructors were yelling in order to be heard at the opposite ends of the Earth, er, ring. In the meantime, I was showing my age by yelling back, “What? I can’t hear you!” Can we dial the volume down please? Was that B or P? Why do these letters all sound the same darn it?!

Splat! A student hits the ground as I make the turn near H. Definitely a girthing issue. The horse trots away trying to escape the demon clinging to it’s side and slowly slipping towards his belly. Time to practice that dismount. I grab my horse’s reins and look around to take inventory. Everyone’s dismounted. The horse has been captured and the demon has been freed from his back, er, side. No, belly.

Okay, back on track. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Posting trot, one big loop H-X-K. Bend in the corner, depart from H… Ack! traffic ahead! Meandering traffic crossing the quarter line. Are they circling left? Please! Move it! Half-halt, just passed behind them as they decide to circle left. Whew!

To make things even more interesting, a horse enters decked out in Western tack. They decide to show us English riders a thing or two with a rear here and a buck there, here a buck, there a buck, everywhere a buck, buck…

That’s 7 horses and 2 instructors.

Splat! A horse spooks and his rider hits the ground. Granted he spooks a lot but away he goes…seeking the comfort of the horses grouped near E. He thinks we can’t see him there and plays hide-and-seek amongst his buddies. Once again, I practice dismounting. Funny, this time I’m just past H. A boarder snags the horse’s reins and all is good in our crowded little universe.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Canter. I know it’s crazy but I’m paying and the clock is ticking…

Away we go along the rail! Oh my God! He’s really rounding his back!…gone…wait…there it is again!…gone. Did you see that! I had a few awesome strides!

And with that another horse and instructor enter the ring. That’s 8 horses and 3 instructors and I’m out of time.

Do I have nerves of steel? Not exactly. Focus? Sometimes. Rear view mirror? Right here and waiting to be installed.