I woke up this morning, really not in the mood for anything. I just felt fed up. It’s the time of year I guess for us having those winter blues. I decided that I wouldn’t do two rides today and really didn’t feel like doing one but I knew, with the weather forecast that if I didn’t ride today, and riding was off all next week, I’d regret not going.
I’ve had the taste of the good stuff now and 30 minutes of hacking is just not nearly enough today. So I text my hacking RI and said I’d be on the 11:45 ride but not the 10:45 one. She text back that was fine.
I arrived and asked who I could ride, she said anyone, as in any of the usual suspects. I knew from the outset, if Shadow was available, that was who I was going for. He was so I mounted expecteing the usual kids coming along but that was not what I got.
sitting astride my lovely friend, after doing my stirrups, my hacking RI called over she was riding with me today. She was on Bella. And a lady who owns one of our school horses was riding out with us on one of her younger horses to. I was feeling better already!
Because of the ground and other situations, only one canter could be had on this 30 minute ride today. I didn’t care! Shadow was so forward and did a better canter than Miss Diva. We did almost crash into her though. Whoops! The young horse, who is clearly still very excitable, was happily cantering along and when we got off the field, he was raring to go. Shadow and Bella were so good though and he took the decision to go in front of Bella. So, Shadow and I drew up the rear. We did some lovely trots around the farm.
My position felt more natural today and yet I felt lighter on his back but not like I was hoisting myself out of the saddle. Things are clicking into place, slowly but surely and my rein contact was the best its been. hands were lose but contact was definite with the aid of my thumbs. He responded well to it to. Less is so much more I’m noticing each time I ride.
On the cobbles, something spooked Mr Shadow. This cobbled stretch is lined by trees so he must have seen some monster lurking. He really skidded forward but I calmly stayed where I was, gently pulled on his reins and tightened my thighs and knees to his saddle and reached over and patted him once he’d calmed a little and kept him walking. Poor boy, he did not like what was going on in those trees today.
The banter with my hacking RI was great and the lady who joined us is really nice. It was lovely to hack out with another adult. And it felt just so natural. Just riding out together on a dry and nice wintry morning.
At the bottom of the cobbles, another rider joined us and we pretty much trotted all the way down the road. That’s the longest trotting I’ve done in one go. We tend to have to stop and start a fair bit and last time I was out on a ride like this, I was on a certain Miss Diva but Shadow was great and I felt like my rising trot is improving all the time. My hacking RI was yelling back move right a little to dodge the parked cars and between us, I avoided kicking any mirrors. It was great and we did quite a lot of turning in trot which I’ve not done so much of.
It was a fabulous ride and I’m so glad I made myself go, it was well worth it!
The best thing was, my hacking RI said whenever I want to book a longer ride, just do it so now I’m feeling more confident and they have the trust in me, longer rides are definitely on the agenda. I may ask to do an hour and pray I get a Shadow ride as I handled him nicely today even with the spook. I’m excited for 2013.
Thanks for reading,