Today (Saturday), we went horseback riding in the mountains. This was quite an interesting experience for me! Before we got on the horses, they guy leading asked if we had experience with horses. I gladly said no thinking that this meant that I was about to get a crash course on how to control the horse. Well, I didn’t! L Everything continued on despite my lack of experience. So, as you could imagine, this led to a slight fiasco. First, it took me a little while to get my horse moving. Then, as we were walking along the path, at a certain point they wanted us to move our horses to the right because the path had to be shared with cars. Kelly, One of the girls who did have experience with horses told me to simply pull my reigns to the right, and I did (I swear), but the horse did not want to go over! He would go over slightly and then return back where he was (I think he was taking advantage because he knew I was nervous!). Then, as if I wasn’t having enough trouble already, we slowed down and stopped at one point and my horse decided to just turn around. Now, he was going the opposite way and I had no idea what to do. Luckily, there were people who were coming the opposite way and they were able to help me. At first, a lady tried to tell me how to turn the horse around (kick with my right foot and pull left). I tried this, but my horse would not budge; he was so defiant! Finally, the guy had to come and lead my horse back around.
Luckily, this fiasco didn’t continue for the entirety of the excursion. Eventually, Emma suggested that I make friends with my horse, and I did. I began to pet him and even speak to him. Soon after, I didn’t have much trouble controlling him at all. He even learned that I didn’t like when he would trot too fast, so even when the horses in front of him began to speed up, he would keep a steady pace for me. Call me crazy, but we developed a solid relationship. And this was a good thing because next challenge came soon. I did mention that we were riding in the mountains right? Well as someone who is afraid of heights, I was fine with this until we ended up walking on narrow paths along edges of land that forced me to notice how high up I was. So, there I was, only moderately comfortable with being on a horse, again being faced with my fear of heights (wow, this trip is really pushing my limits). However, somehow I managed to remain calm and coax myself through until we reached flat areas of land again. It also helped that I could now trust my horse!
After a while, I FINALLY got comfortable and I began to really enjoy myself! It was the most amazing feeling in the world to be able to breathe in the fresh air while riding my horse and seeing the most beautiful of sites. It was like I took a step away from reality for a moment. Though I had a rough start, it turned out to be a wonderful experience overall.
Hello all, or should I say “¡hola!”? My name is Crystal and I’ve recently graduated SUNY Buffalo State with a degree in Elementary Education (grades 1-6) and Social Studies Education (grades 7-9). I will soon begin my studies for Literacy Specialist Certification, but not before I embark on this wonderful journey to Santiago, Chile. For me, this trip beings the opportunity for me to immerse myself in another culture, experience language learning, and adopt new teaching styles; all of which will contribute to making me a teacher who is culturally responsive and able to cater to the diverse needs of students. I anticipate that this trip wil be filled with excitement, challenges, and new understandings! So please, join me for the ride!