It was windy and cold and the rain set in to today. It definitely feels more like late autumn and early winter here in greater Manchester.
I was up early this morning and brushed the gorgeous Mr Shadow and then got some brushing time with the lovely Mr Toby who’s our resident elderly pony.
The first ride was a mix of riders and abilities but I and another girl snuck a sneaky extra canter at our RI’s OK.
Mr Shadow and I were flying across the field and the girl on the pony in front of us wasn’t going as fast as Mr Shadow would have liked so to get off the “forbidden” field he and I kept cantering and accidentally overtook her.
His trots were beautiful and I had to really keep a check on his speed. The wind had got up that horse’s backside this morning.
We got to the bottom of the hill and had a flying canter up it.
On my second ride I rode out with my hacking RI. I had Shadow again. We did road work on this ride which we haven’t done for ages and got a fair few canters to. I was sitting there in the saddle, cantering along, feeling Mr Shadow tempted to transition down and a quick squeeze and thought to myself, wow, I’m in this saddle, I’m calm, relaxed, loving it and he’s listening without a crop and he just continued to canter as I gently asked to keep going. I keep meaning to do a reflections blog of my first year of lessons but a quick hacking reflection is that cantering feels as natural as walking and trotting to me now. I love every second and do it without thinking which is probably where my success lies.
My face encountered a few branches on the road during our trot and after our first lovely canter we went down a tree lined track. Even though I ducked, the branches kept attacking my head and one clobbered me on the head. A lot of fun.
My contact and feel felt amazing today and he was so responsive and forward, such a pleasure to ride.
Another quick two canters and several more forward trots and back to the yard as the rain started to pelt down. Lovely rides with a lot of variation today.