Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

A Ride through the Park

September 11, 2009 · No Comments

This past Monday I had the opportunity to go horseback riding in Hyde Park. And honestly, this experience was a lifesaver to me. Back home I hardly go three days without at least spending some time in a barn or riding my horse. Those hours spent on and around the horses are a source of stress relief. So these past weeks here without opportunities to go riding or spend an hour or two in a barn, have been hard. It’s caused me to find new ways to relieve stress. Museums are new form of stress relief as well as aimless walks through the parks of London. Yet, when Monday came around and I found myself with the chance to go riding, I was ecstatic. It was an amazing feeling being back on horse, even if it was only for an hour. This ride though, was even more special than I expected it to be. It was actually a learning experience about the park and riding in England.
In respect to the ride as a learning experience, it provided a new way to look at the park for me. I had been in Hyde Park numerous times before that doing research for my walking tour. But Hyde Park from the back of horse is completely different and as such it was eye opening. From the back of a horse, Hyde Park becomes completely removed from the city. Even walking by the road while riding, it felt as though I was in the middle of woodland and not London. For me, it felt as though I had the opportunity to experience Hyde Park as it was meant to be experienced by earlier generations. It was a way to return to the past of Hyde Park. This feeling helped me better understand the origins of Hyde Park and it even helped me with understanding my research on the early history of the park. Moreover, this experience was also a chance to experience riding in another country. I have been riding for over ten years and therefore am pretty knowledgeable about riding in the States. Also, I have had opportunities to train with English trainers, but had never ridden outside of the country before. I was not expecting there to be many differences since I had ridden in the English style, which is obviously the style used here. Yet again though, I was surprised by this country. There is a difference in the vocabulary used in respect to both riding style, riding equipment and even with the horse. It was humbling in one way. It showed me that I can always learn, even if it is something that I feel very confident in concerning my knowledge and experience. Even though, it was humbling and different the fact that I could connect with another rider from England through our shared love of riding was an amazing experience. It proved to me that it doesn’t matter what your culture is, if you share a love for something it helps you overcome different vocabularies and viewpoints.
I feel that this is the one experience that will stay with me the longest from London. Firstly due to my great love for horses and riding, but also because it was the first moment that I truly connected with a Londoner over something we both loved. It was a moment that I shared with a fellow rider, without considering our different nationalities. It was something more than exploring the city with fellow Americans and that made it a very unique moment of connection.


Categories: Kimberly · Uncategorized

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