Well Needed Few Rides

I had very little sleep last night and was debating whether to go to the stables or not this morning. I knew in my heart that I needed to get back on a horse after a stressful ride a few weeks ago. I’d had a lot on my mind with the notion that my guide dog would be retiring soon and faced with the decision if to do it sooner rather than later. I was definitely in a bad place when I last rode and whoever says horses are stupid animals has never ridden one. They completely pick up on your mood. Some more than others but that particular day my mood was heavily translated to the horse.

So chatting with a friend this morning who told me to go play with the horses, I dragged myself out of my funk and into my riding clothes.

Once I arrived, brushing commenced.

Everyone who has read this blog from time to time knows how much I love brushing the horses. Today, I got a surprise though.

After brushing a filthy Harry and a semi-muddy Shadow, my hacking RI asked if I’d brush Bella. I’ve never brushed her as she’s a little sensitive to certain areas so my hacking RI tied her to the fence and told me to leave her tummy and in between her front legs.

I brushed all other areas and she was a gem for me.

My first ride was on Shadow and we were riding out as a five group. A beautiful canter was enjoyed first and his trots were amazing. It was like i’d never been away from riding and my confidence soared.

It soared even more when we cantered up the back hill. My forward seat was nice and Shadow did his very cute canter snorting. I love that sound!

After lunch, as I was doing two rides, I rod a pretty black mare that I’ve spoken fondly before on this blog. She’s owned by one of the young girls who attend our riding school and she would often lead me out on Magic whenever I rode her.

A year must have passed at least since I rode this gorgeous mare and what a difference a year makes!

I had complete control in walk and trot and even spent most of my time lead file. She clearly has been chatting to Shadow and Bella who’ve told her i’m a little more capable than I used to be so a few half halts to keep her steady and feels down the rein and occasional leg on were used with pretty girl today.

Her trots are amazingly comfortable and I found I could sit to a fair bit more of her trotting than I can with many other horses.

On the back hill, I just knew I wouldn’t be able to hold her. This horse was notorious with me for having no brakes. I distinctly remember cantering with her on a post as I recall was named “speed” and my RI kept yelling use your half halts to which I’d replied, I am! She’s fast and I haven’t ridden her in such a long time. But my lovely Hacking RI was there to assist me.

My forward seat has come on a lot but I wasn’t sure how I’d feel with pretty little Magic leaning over her neck, especially if I couldn’t stop her. So my hacking RI held onto her and once the others had gone, off we went and it was beautiful.

She was as fast as I remember but not once did I feel unsafe, uncertain or afraid. So I was super pleased.

Once we got to the top I did a few half halts just to remind this cute Welsh D that walking was required and so was listening.

I kept control of her, even when she wanted to chase other horses in front of her or just wanted to go, and for that I’m proud of my progress.

Shadow and Magic picked me right up off the floor of self doubt and rocketed me up the hill at cantering speed to confidence peak. Thank you ponies!

And thanks for reading guys,


This Post Has One Comment

  1. Marie, I’m sure you’re sick of me saying this by now, but bookmark this entry – this is precisely what you need to be reminded of when you’re feeling a bit low about your riding! Just remember, round every dark corner, there is usually a new source of light, and it sounds like Magic shone brightly today 🙂

    I loved your tales of Magic, so it was a shame that your weekend hacking precludes you enjoying her nowadays. Sounds like she a great mirror for how you’ve come along! I love a Welsh D – looks like a sexy cob, goes like a racehorse, stubborn and opinionated like a mule. They are such characters – I adore Frankie for the same reasons! Holding up with your RL to ensure you had control sounds like the adult, safe option – better to have taken it and not needed it and all that! 🙂

    Personally, I don’t find speed alters my confidence about leaning over a horse’s neck – it’s the terrain. If the ground’s flat or a bit uphill, then there’s balance to be found in the full light seat whether your horse is going at 20mph or 30. However, when the ground changes, I find my light seat is more like standing up in my stirrups, rather than being up and forward – it gets my weight back a bit further, and means I can dynamically adjust my point of balance better. It’s worth a try, to see if it settles you on faster or less familiar horses – sort of being upright and a little forward like an eventer, rather than up and doubled over like a jockey over perfectly flat ground.

    Anyhow, onwards and upwards – more of this please! 😀

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