Enjoying my new country

I got the opportunity to horseback ride last night. What a treat! My client rides and I went along to watch and the trainer asked if I wanted to ride.  I was wearing flip-flops and had leggings on  under my abaya. I pointed out that I wasn’t properly attired and he said he had boots and chaps. I then asked one of my colleagues how this works with the abaya. She laughed at me and said “you don’t wear abaya to ride!” They brought me a hot pink metallic helmet and boots and off I went.

My legs are sooooore today! I haven’t ridden in years and it felt very awkward. My posting was all off and I kept having to correct it. I feel sorry for the poor horses, I know it had to be uncomfortable for them, too. Anyway, they put me on a pretty sparky horse first which was fun. It didn’t take much to get her moving so I did a bunch of trotting around and then tried to canter a few times. She was funny, though, she kept balking when we got to the gate, she apparently would prefer to be in her stall than being ridden. The trainer reminded me to shorten up my reins and use my opposite leg and then I was better able to keep her going where I wanted her to go.

I then got on a different horse. This one was stubborn and I had no authority! I could hardly even get her to walk. The trainer said use my legs more and my voice and he got me a crop.  I was then able to get her walking. He had me get off, he got on, the dang creature trotted immediately! Clearly operator error.  I managed to get her trotting when I got back on and spent the rest of the evening battling to keep her there.  At this point the trainer decided that I should try some jumps. She moved along pretty well when I lined her up for a jump so all I really had to do was get forward and over we went.  I forgot how much fun it could be! The trainer has said he will teach me to ride in exchange for help with his English.  His English isn’t too bad, he gets the short end of the stick in this arrangement!

I only posted pictures where my back was straight and my hands were low and close…They weren’t all like that, haha!
This was the horse that moved
This was the one that didn’t
Kind of far away but you get the idea. My colleague took this vid of me, you can hear him laugh at the end when I cheer for myself after jumping!
Following are a few photos of the city at night.  I took most of them from a moving car so they aren’t the best. Hope to get more soon but am still not accustomed to this late night schedule so am not going out much at night. I would prefer evenings which will happen in less than a week when Ramadan is over. The city is starting to decorate for Eid, which is the big holiday that ends Ramadan. It is fun to see the decorations start going up.
Our classroom
Eid decorations in the mall
Not sure what this building is but I like the line of lights up the side of it
There are huge amounts of construction all over the city, it is expanding at in incredible rate. Including he installation of a metro system
That building in the backgound with the u shape lit up is a skybridge, on my list of things to do

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