Can We Trot Any Faster?

I did an hour’s hack yesterday as with weather and illness I’ve not had the hacks I love. Plus, last weekend, I wanted to ride Mr Shadow as he is back in work so opted for two thirty minute rides. But yesterday, I saddled up Miss Bella and off we went on a very blustery hack around the farm.

I feel I’m gaining somewhat with confidence on this longer route as despite the strong winds that often double blind me, I kept relaxed and listening for the pony in front that my hacking RI was on.

Bella was a little difficult but got her walking nicely after a few minutes. The horse in front is only three so very green and despite having done this hack a fair few times, she was spooking at every little thing yesterday. I blame the wind. Bella just kept standing there, as though to say, “These youngsters”.

She did some lovely trotting and my steering on her was great. We had two chances for long canters but Miss Bella was deciding against it. Whether it was me or just her stubbornness yesterday, I’m not sure. I even purposefully held my hands down so I wouldn’t pull back on her accidentally like I have sometimes in the past but no, she wasn’t having any of it.

On the second try, it was so funny, she was pelting along in such a fast trot, it would have been easier for her to transition into canter. I kept sitting to the trot and squeezing her but nothing. I really needed that crop yesterday but had left it behind.

It was a great hack though and lots of long spells of good consistent trotting. The fact I’m feeling more comfortable on these longer hacks only bodes for a brighter future.

We did discover that bus drivers and car drivers in general are an ignorant bunch. The pony in front was freaking about something and started backing toward me and Bella. Bella stopped dead, the pony passed us and the bus kept coming toward us. Instead of waiting for us to pass, he yelled abuse at us. And the amount of dirty looks we received from drivers yesterday was hilarious. Most of the time, the horses were walking well or trotting but the car drivers were just too impatient.

We were talking about the vests that have “polite” or something similar on them with high visibility. I’m tempted to get one. As I’ve said before, been tempted to put something like blind rider on a vest but I doubt any driver would believe a blind person was riding a horse. Any advice or tips to encourage drivers to be more considerate?

Wen we got back to the yard, I untacked Miss Bella and my RI put her rug on. She handed me a head collar and asked if I could put it on her and I did. She then asked me to walk her to the field to turn her out. She lead a horse and I lead Bella and we walked to the field, her giving me vocal cues all the time. It was fab. 🙂

Thanks for reading again, Marie

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Sounds like you had a fun and fast time on your hack with Bella then! It’s so funny when ponies just keep stonking along in faster and faster trot rather than transition up to canter isn’t it? I’m so thrilled that your confidence and composure is growing with each ride though, as now you know you can handle things and have the relaxation and calmness that knowledge brings, which in turn helps you cope with things even better, if you know what I mean! Keep up the great work and please keep sharing your adventures and progress with us here too, as it’s an absolute pleasure to read.

  2. How wonderful to come back into the virtual world and see you’re doing so well. Clearly your RI thinks a lot of your ability or there’s absolutely no way you’d be escorted by one of the youngsters – trust me on that one! One top tip to remember when you’re having a speedy-trot day – a fast trot will never turn into a canter – any more than a fast walk becomes a trot. Always slow down so you allow the horse to ‘get a grip’ and work out which leg is doing what. (I know that’s far harder to do when you’re following out on a ride)

    And on the tabbard thing – I’ve always stuck a driver’s L-plate on the front and back of mine – no matter what the age of the horse I’m riding. It’s something all drivers understand and whether they think it’s the horse or the rider that needs the L-plate doesn’t matter as long as they slow down – right?!

    Really really glad to hear you’re still enjoying your riding. I’m only sorry to have missed so much. – much reading to do 🙂

  3. So glad you got a longer hack out, even if the Diva herself would not oblige with a canter. As usual, Lorraine’s spot on: when a horse rushes the trot with canter aids, then the canter’s not coming, or they’ll spring into it unbalanced like a green youngster. Finding Bella’s buttons and getting her to do it is another matter, but you’ll manage it. Just think how many of her switches you’ve found already 😉

    The Polite vests are under investigation atm as the police are objecting to them; I therefore wouldn’t recommend one of those in particular. Twatty drivers will ignore what they want though: my friend long-reined her Welshy & they ignored her ‘Young horse in training’ high-vis. Thank heavens the pony was in his 20s and totally unphased! Hope luck’s on your side with road-users in future 🙂

    I miss your Shadow tales: can’t wait to hear how you get on again now he’s back in work! 🙂

    1. I hope it’s much better than last week. Cheeky boy decided to play the make me do it game and sprang off into the fastest canter when we used a make shift crop. Little bugger. Hopefully will get to ride him tomorrow and no messing around Mr Shadow. And I know I’ll get there with Bella. We’ve come so far now 🙂

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