Summer Rides with My Gorgeous Friends

It was a beautifully sunny morning today and I arrived and had the full choice of the horses I usually ride. I chose Shadow! He had just had a lesson so I wasn’t expecting him to be flying around but he was forward and responsive. I didn’t have anyone walking with me today and followed another, slower horse. Shadow thought this was rather inappropriate and on several occasions, he attempted to head butt the horse in front of us when it braked to a stop.

Our trots were fantastic and my contact was spot on.

On the field, I asked for a canter and got a really nice one. He was forward but very collected. On the run back down the field however, cantering was not on his mind. I wasn’t too worried as the sun was shining and he was behaving beautifully and he had had a lesson just before our ride.

On our trot before going down the cobbles, the horse in front stopped suddenly at the sight of some flags. Shadow thought this was a perfect opportunity to nibble his bum as I hadn’t had time to stop him in time. It seems to take me longer to realise a horse stops as I have other people’s voices, horses hooves all around me.

Down the cobbles, he thought he’d try a snack, when will you learn Mr Shadow, i’m a pro at stopping you doing that now. More trotting and back to the yard.

I decided to do another ride as it was so beautiful and I wasn’t meant to be going up next weekend and they’re off on pony camp this week so I couldn’t even get a mid week ride, but that has changed, I will tell you more about that at the end.

Given another choice of nearly everyone, I chose to ride Topaz. I think, as my rI went to look at her book, she was hoping I would be the only rider and she could ride out with me but sadly, not to be, we had two other riders on the ride.

I mounted handsome Topaz, with his shiny new saddle and waited for the ride. I was actually in front for a while on this ride, without a leader or walker which was slightly unnerving. Gladly, when we got to the busy roads, my RI put another horse in front of me. Saying all that, I managed very well and so did the horse. πŸ™‚

His trots were a little sluggish at first but got him going nicely and he was really a good boy. He is really listening to me to nowadays which is good.

My rI snuck me onto a field to canter, first try was a no go, so she made me come back. And guess what? I cantered! It is my first canter on Topaz since I fell off and I was superglued to that seat let me tell you. I really went with him and it was so beautiful! Cantering through the trees, sun dazzling down on us, I can only imagine how graceful and beautiful my gorgeous, tall, friend looked cantering along. I couldn’t believe it! After my last canter on him, this was worlds apart and was fabulous.

A few more trots, and on the second to last, I decided to take matters into my own hands and tried to sit to his trot. I managed it for three strides which I was impressed with. He’s got a very big trot being so big so you bounce considerably out of the saddle but I was pleased with it. My instructor even commented and asked if I intended to sit and I told her I did, she said you really sat those first few strides. I’m guessing you’d increase the sit over time, I’m not sure as we’ve never done much on sitting trot but I only managed three strides so will aim for more next time.

While we were walking along a road, I commented how she rarely corrects me anymore and she said, it’s because I don’t need it. That was good and just a reaffirmation that I need to move forward with this.

We tried to go down the back lane for a final canter in my case at least, but there were diggers there so we had to turn back. I wasn’t worried as I’d had an amazing ride on Topaz and Shadow too.

Who knew, only 7 months ago, I never thought i’d get this cantering business, my only challenge now is to keep more in the canter which I believe is getting better each week.

So, I untacked him, loving his new saddle. It’s rather deep which suits me I think and gave him a huge hug and was leaving and told the RSO I wouldn’t be there next weekend as she called, was I wishing them luck with the weather for Pony Camp and I said yes but I wouldn’t be there next week. She asked where I was off and I told her that my parents are away and I had no one to have Bailey so she told me firmly that he’s always welcome, but I said I didn’t know what I’d do with him and she responded by saying the girls would watch him. Bailey is a guide dog but he has 0 road sense as since he was a puppy he has been on a lead or in harness crossing roads and I was worried about that and said he’d have to be tied up. She said the girls would hold him, even if it meant they sat on the benches and I said I wouldn’t want to take them away from what they were doing. She said very firmly, “Marie, just get up here and bring him with you. He’s more than welcome” So I guess that’s me told. I always had the impression that I couldn’t take him but this could be good for me. I do feel guilty a lot of the time leaving him, even when my parents are home. I probably wouldn’t do it every week but it may mean I could spend more time there, helping out if Bailey could come with me sometimes. Amazing how you learn something knew all the time.

Anyway, so I will be riding next week at my usual yard. And tomorrow, I should, all being well, be off to spend the afternoon with mum’s friends and her horses. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. She’s meant to call me mid morning. I’m nervous and excited.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Marie

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. This was such a great way to start my day! So happy and positive πŸ™‚ Fingers crossed everything works out this afternoon. Exciting stuff. How nice that Bailey can go with you when you need him. Brilliant πŸ™‚

  2. What a fabulous pair of rides! Am sat here grinning πŸ˜€ Brilliant to hear you’ve conquered the mini-demon of cantering Topaz too: I know I certainly carry that around a little bit until I’ve ridden the same horse again!

    I am trying to remember how I learned sitting trot: it was so long ago, I have no idea! Certainly as the duration increases a bit, it becomes easier to start focusing on technique, especially seat and posture. I still insist “relax your arse cheeks” is some of the best afvice I’ve had about sitting it! Some horses are easier than others for sitting to as well: if you’re on a smoother based horse at any point, make the most of it while you can πŸ™‚

    Btw, unless a horse is genuinely fatigued (and in my experience they almost never are after one lesson), I wouldn’t allow that as an excuse for not cantering. Lots of people use it as an excuse because it feels ‘kind’, but a fit horse (RS horses usually are) has no problem doing bursts of canter for two lessons in a row IME! πŸ™‚

    I am beyond excited to read about how today goes: best of luck Marie πŸ™‚

  3. Great reading! And I agree with Debz on the cantering! Be as firm with that as you are with the snacking πŸ™‚ As for sitting trot? Yikes, mine is work in progress but I’ll say one thing… I wish I’d learned properly from the beginning (i.e. with the RI I have now). It took ages to undo all the habits I’d picked up from previous RIs. Not sure if others agree but I think being on a lunge is the best way to start so you can concentrate on seat only. So will be great to have it as yr next challenge when u start lessons! You are so ready to move on! Congrats on the lovely canters, especially on Topaz!

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