Shorncliffe Sun. Apr. 30/16
Well its time for me to write again although I haven't received any word from any of you, did you get all the letters I wrote, one to Joe and one to Dad last Sunday and one to Smylie on Monday, besides numerous others to the old folks at home.
I told you we had started riding last time, well we sure have, Jack, Big Mac and mysel are in the same Class, we saddle up at 8 a.m and go to the school about half past. We had it rather easy the first day or two but things are changed now. They started us with the whole out-fit, curb bit, stirrups and all the rest and without spurs, first we had to cross our stirrups, then we used the stirrups and dropped the check and when we could hold on that way they put our spurs on again, took away the check and stirrups and made the horses trot as tight as they could climb.
After about a week of that we had to start on the jumps, likewise the fun started on the jump to. Old Ned is the best jumper in camp. I always reckoned him as an old worn out mule but after Friday I changed my mind, I think I'll by him and bring him back with me, do you mind how Confidence used to go for the big jump Old Ned is just like him. not as big about 12.50 or so but clean legged with a good head and neck and active as a kitten.
When we first went to the school I was the tenth in line and Mac just ahead of me, after the first four had made the jump he was prancing like a two year old and when Mac started he was standing on first his hind feet and then his front feet and squeeling like a wild man, then the instructor yelled to let her go , and we went, ten feet on the first side, twenty on the other and five feet above the pole, if it hadn't been for the end of the school he'd have jumped the English Channel.
Yesterday we had to do it with out stirrups and when we got going straight fold our arms and trust to luck, Macs horse shied into the side of the jump and Mac made it himself just clearing the bar nicely. I got to the jump alright but when he jumped I wasn't holding on and he started to come down while I was still flying upward. Not liking the thoughts of a tumble I forgot about my spurs and ploughed my heels into him, which was all that saved me one caught in his hide and the other in the surcingle he kicked like a steer but the spur points held and thusly my reputation was saved for the day, no one knows what the morrow will bring but I hope there's no more of that. well I have to go on stable guard at 4;30 and I want to write some cards home so answer this right away and I'll be very much obliged, for fear you don't know my address here it is.
Driver M.T. Lean No. 314677
3rd Reserve Battery