My Latest Guru: Ginger the Patient Chestnut

Meet Ginger, my new personal trainer, the first I’ve had with four legs instead of two. Ginger is a veteran in her field. No, not the hay field, though she does seem to like it there, but rather the sand ring, the arena where she puts novice riders, like me, through their paces. With at least eighteen years of service under her belt – or girth  I should say-  Ginger is a study in patience and steadfastness. I can sit in the saddle with too loose a rein or too weak a leg, on the wrong posting diagonal or flailing about at the canter, and she won’t bolt, buck or rear, though she has taken the occasional backward glance at me, as if to say, will you make up your mind about what you’d like to do?  For the next six months, I’ve agreed to take on Ginger as my latest training guru and I’ll be sharing some of her wisdom here.

Things I’ve Learned from Ginger:

  • Post-workout treats are a must.
  • If you trust your mount, everything will be just fine.
  • Riding English will eventually give you thighs of steel.


* “Posting” refers to a gentle rising and sitting by the rider in rhythm with the trotting gait of a horse. The trot is a two-beat gait where diagonally-opposite legs move forward at the same time.  To be on the correct “posting diagonal” means to “rise and fall with the (front) leg on the wall”. Done correctly – no small thing – posting makes for a more comfortable ride for both horse and rider. 


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