Its early October, the northern spring is upon us. However, while the mornings and evenings in Dubai are beginning to cool down, the temperature still stays stubbornly above 40C for most of the time when the sun is out. In this stifling heat, what better activity then to get on a horse and go around circles in a paddock while the rest of the world hides away in their air conditioned comfort.
We have had the twins listed up for riding lessons for the last two years, unfortunately the demand is such that they have never made it up the list during the more reasonable months of the year. There are often sessions available during the start of summer, but we are of the idea that it would not be humanly possible to have lessons then . Of course, thats what we think. Quite a number of others don’t share this point of view and summer lessons are quite popular among those who are stuck in Dubai during the long school holiday period.
This year we got lucky. Their new school offers a 12 weeks Horse Riding for Beginners course as part of their after school activity. We managed to get both of them signed up, paid the required fee and took the twins down to the mall to get them all kitted up in riding gear.
The hour long session started with a stable tour and some simple lessons on horse grooming and management. The rest of the lesson is done on the real beast, with a groom holding on to the make sure that the insurance company does not have to dole out any unnecessary payouts.
This being the first lesson, the focus was on the basics. Getting up on the horse, simple instructions to the horse to start walking, increasing speed and perhaps the most important one for the day, getting it to understand STOP!
The twins were very excited to be there from the start. In fact, for the last couple of days, thats all they have been talking about, horses! Their beaming faces as they rode past was proof enough that they were enjoying themselves throughly.
The days lesson ended with the students leading their mounts down to their respective stables. By then, the twins and their buddies were all hot, thirsty and sporting big rosy, sun baked cheeks! The parents standing in the hot sun were just glad that the lesson was over, but the kids were eagerly waiting for the next lesson. A week can be a long time when you are waiting for it to come quickly!