So, I have been both really lazy and actually quite busy along with dealing with a horrid cold this week and that is partly the reason you lovely people are getting a condensed entry this time.
Those are the main reasons but of course the fact that Sundays rides just were utter bla, caused by the recent weather, I don’t feel so enthusiastic about dedicating a whole blog to them.
We’ve had horrible snow here a few weeks ago. Caused the cancellation of my hacks because of drifted snow and my lesson because of snow and ice still lingering on the Thursday. Sunday was horrible! There was just sheets of ice everywhere where the snow hadn’t drifted and so not riding was definitely the safest option. I was bummed of course but it meant my plans for my hour hack were totally gone.
Last Sunday, I knew that there could still be patches of ice on untreated surfaces and so I made the decision to return to two thirty minute short hacks for safety.
I rode Bella first. She was rather compliant, if somewhat itchy and outright decided cantering wasn’t in her day planner that day. Quite honestly, I wasn’t surprised. And quite honestly wasn’t disheartened by it either.
Harry was in a mood worst than ever I’ve seen. His trots were relatively forward but walking was like pulling teeth. He’d plod along and no matter how effective I was with my leg and crop, he just kept on moving at a snail’s pace. It reminded me of how Bailey gets when he’s bored. Brilliant little guide I have but if we’ve done the same route, day after day, he’ll put his enthusiasm on lock down. I was definitely getting that vibe with Harry.
My lesson was moved to Tuesday due to activities going on at the yard for Easter holidays. I didn’t mind moving at all and as it happened, cleared up my Thursday for other plans.
Bella was pulling her face even as I stood outside her stable, chatting to my hacking RI as she tacked her up. I went off to brush another pony while I waited for my instructor.
A girl approached and asked if I wanted her to put his saddle on which I then pointed out he’d not yet been brushed, I’d put it on when I was done. I have put saddles on Shadow and helped with other big horses but if I needed help, there were plenty of people around to ask.
As it happened, I put his saddle on with no problems at all and got my instructor to double check once she came to get me for my lesson.
As soon as I mounted Bella, I had a pretty good idea of what was to come. She was tense and very irritable. Like with most horses right now, their summer coats are trying to come through and many are malting like crazy. Her fur is itching the hell out of her, that is, her winter coat and I have to say, if that was me, I’d be pretty annoyed with the world to.
We got into the school and I had no crop on me and Bella decided a bunny hop was definitely necessary. I just sat still in the saddle, commented it was going to be one of those days and asked her to walk on.
We had a lot of drifting issues on Tuesday. Partly because Bella was being less than helpful and also because I wasn’t as on the ball as I needed to be. And on the occasions I was, she just blatantly ignored my legs and hands. I couldn’t even get too cross with her, pony was so itchy. A decision was made there and then to hopefully clip her later that day as my instructor was concerned about Bella’s levels of itchiness.
Our trots were much better and I was keeping her much more continuous and if she would drop to walk, I’d pick her straight back up again.
My RI asked to trot down the E side of the school and keep in trot and come down the centre line. I’ve only walked around that corner before. I’ve been trotting the corners at H, M, f and K but never trotted around onto the centre line until Tuesday.
I trotted her down and just kept thinking of my turns and keeping her forward and we did it. My instructor was super pleased as it was the first time I’d done it and I did it perfectly. I turned exactly where I needed to and kept myself and the horse balanced, telling her with my body which way we were going to go. I was very pleased.
She was hard work on Tuesday but not as hard as I found her a few months ago. I accept fully she was irritated with her itchiness and gave her a little slack, although not too much and kept her working until the end.
We always have a review at the end of the lessons, saying what I need to do or what I did well. I thrive on having that feedback. She was happy with my legs, my hands and my general steering although keeping Bella on the track down the B side of the school still needs a lot of work on the left rein. She also praised the fact I stayed calm on her when we first came into the school. She pointed out that because I’d not been forceful with her, or got irritated with her and kept calm, I calmed Bella and allowed her to ease more into the lesson. She said it could have been so different and that was what Bella needed from me as her rider. She was very happy with my turning in trot down the centre line and commented on my balance again. So even though it was a tough lesson, it was a fantastic one at the same time.
Thanks for reading guys,