Hi Everyone. Sid here.
I have to confess, it gets a bit boring being a horse and not being able to speak English to people. I'm a very wise old chap and have seen a lot of people learn to ride so I thought I'd go through a few common statements that the instructors make, to be sure that you guys are all clear on what they actually mean.
"Shorten up your reins" - this normally means that the reins (one of the ways you tell us horses what to do) are too long. Liken this to trying to drive without holding your steering wheel - slightly scary for both you and the instructor! Steering obviously works better if you can actually tell us horses what you want.
"Put your leg on" - Dont' worry - this doesn't mean your leg has fallen off. It means to put your leg against our side. Leg that is - not heel. A kick from a heel is uncomfortable and will put us horses in a bad mood - even if it is a nice new expensive heeled boot that you are very proud of and feel that you should "wear in" to look a bit more horsey.
"Sit up.... Sit up..... SIT UP....!!!" This cry from an instructor often comes when they sense you may be in danger. This may be from a) Us horses going slightly faster than you intended, often round a corner. b) Your bottom being a considerable distance away from its desired location - the saddle or c) Any situation where your face is too close to the horses ears/head.
"Why don't you try Daisy, rather than Ferrari" - this may well be the instructors polite way of keeping you safe. Whilst Ferrari may be a beautiful, black, enormous, snorting powerful looking horse, you may need to realise that quiet, hairy, sweet (if a little lethargic) Daisy is more suited to your current ability and coordination.
"OOOhhhhh.... that wasn't a very big jump was it?" - this is normally mumbled quietly from the red faced, slightly-out-of-breath instructor who is giving you a leg up onto your horse. A leg up is as described.... Jump on the count of three. Hanging there, waiting for some kind of power lift to the saddle can result in a fairly tired instructor.
"Sid prefers the left rein" - this one is saved especially for me. It means that I am a fly old thing. Whilst I am the patron saint of all riding school horses, I do Riding for the Disabled, I do beginner lessons and I star in the panto each year... I am not shy to take the mickey. I do indeed prefer the left rein and if you ride me with long reins and not much direction whilst travelling right, I will just turn left when the opportunity arises. This can result in a rather embarrassing moment if you are lead file and then suddenly find yourself looking round at the rest of the riders that you are meant to be leading round the school.
Right, I think thats enough for you humans just now..... I'll be back soon with some more tips and translations.