I didn't start learning to ride until May 2010 and for the entire summer of that year was injured. My first year of riding was not that solid but since April last year, I've not missed a ride. I can walk, sit and rise trot, canter, and have started learning transitions and diagonals on a variety of horses. Come and join me on my adventures with my horsey friends all done with no sight on my part. don't feel afraid to ask me any questions. being blind and a horse rider is new, interesting and very exciting. So I hope you can gain something from reading this.
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
I arrived at the stables this morning to be informed of a new plan. I was eager to hear what this plan may be. So here it is. When I've been riding in the past year or so at the stables, I've always had someone walking alongside me. Initially, leading, and gradually letting go and giving me the reins more, so to speak. This has been fine and essential for my learning. However, this morning, the lady who owns the riding school came up with a new challenge for me and a sort of experiment which I was excited to try. I still had someone walking alongside me for this ride but my challenge was to follow the horse in front of me. If it turned corners, went around bends, etc, etc; I had to follow with my own horse. I haven't been lead in walk or trot for a good while now. Walking a few months and during trot probably the last month or so. I'm still being led in canter for the moment which is absolutely fine. So the experiment was to see if I was able to follow the sounds of the horse in front of me during a hack and move accordingly without direction from my instructor on the ground. It was a slightly breezy day and we did some of the farm hacks I'm used too. I was riding my tall, white friend, and was able to keep him following the lead horse in front. I trotted and walked behind the other horse with little issues during the ride and even on grass while we were doing a canter, I was able to hear the movement of the other horse's hooves in the grass. This is a great step forward for me to test my abilities as a rider, to gain complete control of the horse on which I'm riding and hopefully will lead to even more independence and more techniques to become a better rider. I cannot express how grateful I am to the owner of the riding school for her continual pushing for me to become better and more independent as a rider. It shows that I am definitely in the right place with the right people going on this incredible journey. As for my canter, well, that was a great feeling too today. My horse was raring to go and with a good squeeze, I got two fantastic canters out of him. My hands are steady, forward over my horse's neck, heels down and even I felt myself more in my seat and staying there today. I cannot believe how it was only just under two weeks ago when I asked to try out the reins, and I honestly thought I'd want to go back to gripping the saddle but it almost feels now like I've been cantering holding my reins for the longest time. I am feeling like I'm getting more of a response from the horse and getting longer canters each time. We almost got to the end of the field today on our first canter before he returned to his trot. And on the back lane, it was the best I've had on the back lane until this point. I can remember when I was losing my foot out of my stirrup all of the time before wen we cantered, now it feels so natural to me. Hopefully, I can stay fixed to my seat more and more each time I try. :) Hope to bring you more updates this Thursday as always. Hope everyone's having a great week with their horses. Thanks again, Marie