12 August 2009

Horse Riding Camp – Summer 2009

During an outing with Ruchi and Poorvi I mentioned that I wanted to learn horse riding...and what a coincidence – both were interested too. So Ruchi was given the task to find out some where we could get enrolled.

She did some amazing R & D and found out that Bangalore Amateur Riders Institute (BARI) which is under the guidance of Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) was organizing a ten day Horse Riding workshop for beginners to promote amateur riding in April-May 2009.
Each day there would be one hour of riding and on 2 days they would add half an hour of stable management where participants would learn how to handle horses and groom them and eventually develop a bond with the horses. A visit to the equine hospital in BTC was also included...sounded quite interesting, so we decided to join the camp.

First 2 days I had a horse called Soldier. There is a person (Srinivasa in case of Soldier) called a 'Side' who leads the horse and so all went well. Managed to get on and off Soldier, do a basic walk and some trotting AND importantly with no casualty. I was thoroughly enjoying myself. Day 3 the sides were asked to let go off the horse but stay close by. I was a bit nervous but luckily again the day was uneventful.

The following day my horse was changed to Al Habib...a young fellow. I just couldn’t get my rhythm with him and unfortunately I developed a severe back ache :-(
Somehow rested for a day and went back on Day 6 after the pain got better but the pain started again and so with a lot of difficulty I decided to stop the classes :-((((

It was really a difficult decision since we all were enjoyiong ourselves so much - some of my friends at the camp even created a blog (Horse Riding Notes) specifically for learnings from the camp and other useful information using mind maps, videos and the works...

And because I was feeling really bad I didn’t even go for the show that was organized for the last day where all my friends participated...

However, what raised my spirits was that Anita organized VIP Race Passes for the 1st day of the Races at Turf Club for us. An SMS from her read – “Tomorrow’s dress code for the races – Men: Jacket and Tie. Women: smart- no jeans, though trousers are allowed”. Hats and summer dresses came out of the cupboard as we got ready for the races.

Loved the VIP treatment ...for people in the VIP lounge they arrange lunch and high tea too!

Great races and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as we got initiated to the world of horse race betting.

Human emotions are amazing – though we enjoyed the 1st race where we didn’t bet, the excitement levels were distinctly lower than in the following races where some of us decided to bet. At the beginning of the race we were seated but slowly rose from our seats and as the horses came closer to the fishing line we could be heard exhorting our favorite to run faster.

It was a different experience altogether...and one which made me understand how people get addicted to gambling. It takes a lot of will power not to bet in that kind of an environment.

Even though I found myself poorer by Rs 100 at the end of the day, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. But yes...I don’t want to be a regular at the races:-)

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