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,