secure in The Saddle

I’m back, yes, oh, so soon? I had my second lesson/ride today in the chilly, drizzly morning air.

I decided to ride the same, tall, cheeky, bay I rode yesterday as I’d had a good ride yesterday and I hoped to repeat a lovely, enjoyable ride. Even this morning, I was all about enjoying it, relaxing and no pressure on myself. This has, so far, worked rather well for me.

I brushed my lovely, tall, bay friend with one of the other girls, even bringing along my own brushes that the parentals had given me as a Christmas gift. He was tacked up, with an exercise sheet, I put my hat on my head and mounted through the muddy puddle and sat lovely in the saddle again. I think it may have been the same saddle I had yesterday. It felt the same. I know some think this can have an affect on your ride and others think it is irrelevant, but I know how I felt yesterday and today in that saddle, it was good!

So we walked on the road route today which I was pretty OK with as we had done the farm hack yesterday. I used a lot of half halting as we were behind other horses today and my lovely, tall, bay friend has a long gait. He’s not the fastest horse but he covers a lot of ground. So I felt like I was playing with elastics with my hands today which was fun and it worked well.

My first trot was OK, just needed to keep my heels down more but I got a lovely forward trot from him and felt on the second trot like I was pushing more from the saddle, hence keeping heels down more, elbows in and low, ETC.

There was a small grass area, I’ve told you we’ve cantered on grassy places on the road route before, I’m familiar with this one and the young lady walking with me today held on as I’m not as familiar with my tall, bay friend as my tall white one as he is not familiar with me much yet either. So I gave myself a little pet talk, if you don’t canter, don’t worry, just sit nice in trot, it’ll be OK, but still squeeze and push with seat, keep hands forward, elbows in, shoulders back. Yes, that’s a long pet talk but I did and we trotted for a few strides, but I stayed in that seat, despite the slight bounce, squeezed again, and off we went into a good canter. Today, I stayed well in my seat and went with him so nicely, it was the best canter I’ve had in a while. I didn’t lose a stirrup, I stayed in position, hands were forward, I felt in control of all of my body and I did not tense and relaxed! Relaxation has been my new theme and it definitely has worked this weekend.

We came off of the grass and the young lady who has been my instructor the most congratulated me on the canter and said my position was good, I went with him, she just wants to see a quicker into canter next time to which I replied, “I’ll try but I’m not putting pressure on myself” and she said it was showing. Maybe I finally have unlocked the key to progress, stop getting frustrated and enjoy the rides and take the pressure away and things will happen without the stress. I know, it’s a lesson we’ve all had to learn in life at some point. I just hope my pressure free attitude continues to assist me in future rides.

My last trot was the best I’ve done yet on my tall bay and my heels stayed down, and it felt amazing. Without realising it, I think my tension had transferred even into other aspects on my rides because walk and trot are also seemingly feeling better.

We got back to the yard and I untacked him, put his lovely rug on and handed over several polos. He was impressed I’d remembered them. I gave him a cuddle and went to put his tack back.

When I was retrieving my bag from outside his stable, I passed the lovely bay beauty who I proceeded to hug. I’ve missed her while she’s been on rest so it was lovely to see her. I treated her to some polos too and then asked if I could brush one of the horses. I brushed an older horse who I’ve ridden a few times in the early days. It was nice to give his thick coat a nice brush. I’m getting better about walking around the yard to, some of the girls commented on this today. Makes me less dependent on them which feels good for me. So all in all, another successful and progressive ride.

Until next weekend,

Marie

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