Thrown In At The deep End

I arrived on Thursday morning to discover my RSO had meant to send me a text as she had an urgent family thing to attend to and would I mind having my lesson at one o’clock? I didn’t mind and started helping out. I was told by my hacking RI that I would have to have Bela as Shadow had to step in at the last minute as Topaz had come in lame and they needed a horse for a competition they’d gone to the previous night. I understand horses who have worked that hard need to take a break and poor old Shadow has been taking a lot of the work recently due to some of our other big horses being lame. Not everyone can ride Topaz and poor Kenny’s still out of work. So I was disappointed but I understood. I went to brush Shadow and give him lots of cuddles. He looked rather clean as he’d stayed in after the competition. My hacking RI asked if I’d had some nice time with my favourite horse and I had. He always makes me smile.

I moved on to brush several more horses. Think my total was six on Thursday. I also learnt about mud fever and the symptoms and how you treat it. That was interesting and I watched as they cleaned and bandaged Topaz’s sore leg.

Then RsO realised she’d left the key somewhere and tried to break the lock on the school. But it wouldn’t budge which was probably the best thing as I wouldn’t want it to be left unsecure just for the sake of my lesson. I did think I wouldn’t be getting a lesson by this point and part of me was relieved, the other part was of course disappointed.

But RSO decided she had an idea. Believe me, what came out of her mouth shocked me as much as anyone. She asked if I’d go into a group lesson at 4:30. I said, I’d try anything once. That is one of my flaws by the way.

So while she went to pick up her children from school, I was left in charge of the yard and was filling hay nets for the horses.

I got on Bella, feeling unsure but not really worrying too much about what was to come.

She was no easier with three other horses in the school and my legs got a battering on the fence a few times. I ended up having some help too as she was being difficult and because we did circles and I have not yet done circles so having a leader or more a guide beside me was useful. She’s one of the older girls who sometimes leads on our hacks and I get on well with her. Bella was listening a little but not sure if she was listening to me or to both of us.

I was pretty disorientated as the group lessons go so much faster than my private one in the sense you have to stick with the rest of the group. Bella is not a horse I would ever choose for a school lesson again. Of course, this week it was probably going to be Shadow from what I could gather which would have made life that much easier but these things are sent to try us.

During trot, I was just completely in chaos. My rising was just non existent. I was too afraid to go to high but I eventually settled into a rising trot that felt forward and or more forward than usual with this horse and rhythmic.

Changing the rein was cool! It was easier having another horse in front of me and I did handle it relatively well just having the girl walk beside me in case I needed a hand. The nice thing was, I wasn’t the only one who had a hand on thursday so I was in the right group.

The circles are probably going to be the hardest shapes to get as I don’t have the fence to follow and you cannot follow the horse in front as the circle gets smaller.

I did more trotting in this schooling session than any before. It shows what I need to be doing and only confirms in my head that Bella and I are not gelling well enough for me to get all I need to get out of the session. I couldn’t concentrate on where I was going and keeping her going all the time.

My trotting was so abysmal at one point, my stirrups just slipped under my feet. We also did some sitting trot and I was getting the hang of that a little.

It was an experience to say the least and I’m not opposed to a group lesson in future but I am opposed to the horse I used.

I was so tired afterward and it was funny as Bella had worked up some sweat. At least she had to work hard this week. I just hate having help from someone else to get her going.I cannot wait to ride tomorrow in a care free hack. Please be Shadow! Or Harry. Please!!!

Thanks for Reading,

Marie

Marie

I am 29 and feel like I have more blogs than I care to think about. That's where Life without sight has come into it. I finally have grown up and stepped into the hosting world. Lets see how this goes :)

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. That’s not one of your weaknesses Marie: it’s one of your strengths! Sounds like you’d a great lesson all in all: sure, it wasn’t perfect, but you definitely seem to have a healthy attitude about Bella not being right for now (ie it’s not a failure, you just need a different horse to learn new things), and to see how well you coped with so many new thinhs ๐Ÿ™‚ Believe me, even with sight, circles aren’t easy!

    I’ll be on Team Shadow next week ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. That’s not one of your weaknesses Marie: it’s one of your strengths! Sounds like you’d a great lesson all in all: sure, it wasn’t perfect, but you definitely seem to have a healthy attitude about Bella not being right for now (ie it’s not a failure, you just need a different horse to learn new things), and to see how well you coped with so many new thinhs ๐Ÿ™‚ Believe me, even with sight, circles aren’t easy!

    I’ll be on Team Shadow next week ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Sounds like the group lesson was interesting. It is so different to a private lesson isn’t it? Hope you get Shadow next week. x

  4. You are amazing! Well done you for giving it your best shot! I know many sighted riders who would have thrown in the towel months ago. How on earth you coped with all that I have no idea – and with an unhelpful Bella too. Without putting too finer point on it I think perhaps they should pay you for your contributions!! Anyway it is all good experience and obviously they are looking out for your best and safest interests really. Re the circle thing – I do know the direction thing is hard – but the blind girl I taught knew how many strides between 10m markers and A or C. Can you get this place to mark a 10m spot so you can do that? If they haven’t already? That way you can count between the 10m spot on the track and you’ll know when you’ve reached X (or at least the centreline) from the track. I think it helps? Does that even make sense?! Good on you Marie because you’re going to be great. With that amount of determination you just can’t fail. Failing that I’m coming right on over there to help … ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. You are amazing! Well done you for giving it your best shot! I know many sighted riders who would have thrown in the towel months ago. How on earth you coped with all that I have no idea – and with an unhelpful Bella too. Without putting too finer point on it I think perhaps they should pay you for your contributions!! Anyway it is all good experience and obviously they are looking out for your best and safest interests really. Re the circle thing – I do know the direction thing is hard – but the blind girl I taught knew how many strides between 10m markers and A or C. Can you get this place to mark a 10m spot so you can do that? If they haven’t already? That way you can count between the 10m spot on the track and you’ll know when you’ve reached X (or at least the centreline) from the track. I think it helps? Does that even make sense?! Good on you Marie because you’re going to be great. With that amount of determination you just can’t fail. Failing that I’m coming right on over there to help … ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. OMG Marie! Thrown in at the deep end is an understatement! What a fantastic attitude you have. On Saturday I was in such a sulk because I don’t really get on with the pony I was riding. And all because the poor thing was a bit fresh! I need to read your blog before going to my lessons, cause that’s the attitude we should all have. And I’m with Lorraine on the payment thing, you work bloody hard on that yard… six horses?!

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