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.
Saturday, 10 September 2011
Anyone who's read either entry this week will know I was feeling pretty rubbish about my lessons this week. My mum's friend has seven horses of her own on a field by our house and another that lives there to. Last week, mum asked her friend if she knew anyone who was loaning out horses but she didn't at the moment. When she knew mum was asking for me, for extra time outside of my lessons, she said I could go up to her horses on a weekend and ride. So today, [think mum knew how bummed I've been amongst other things that are going on at home], so we went up to her friend's stables. I played with her dogs while she was feeding the geese and ducks and cats. She took me into the place where she makes up the horses feed and told me what she uses. She is a self confessed traditionalist where her feed is concerned but it was very interesting to know what she feeds her horses and why. Mum and I got into her friend's car and headed up to the field where we were greeted by some of the horses. A lovely male gelding who is at least seventeen hands made friends with me. And then I met the horse I was going to ride. She's very pretty and at a guess I'd say 14 hands. I was worried about mounting as where I ride, I use the mounting block. However, today, no mounting block, just a field. So on went my first foot and I'm not sure how I did it, but ended up in the saddle on my first try. Mum was my sight guide, walking up the lane. My new sweet friend was difficult at first but with a few good squeezes, she was raring to go. This was the first time we'd met each other so obviously, things will take time to gel. But I managed to get her to trot on the third attempt. I have to say, considering she was the first horse I've ridden independently with mum just walking at the side of me, outside of my school environment, I was happy with what I managed to get this pretty thing to do. It shows that I've learnt a lot without me knowing how much. I was able to get on a horse I didn't know and walk, stop, trot and direct, [despite mum's terrible directions]. I didn't try a canter on her yet but there will hopefully be other times. Mum's friend said if I want to go up tomorrow and every weekend, I can. She seemed comfortable around me so hopefully this may be a good way of getting practice and more time on a horse outside of my lessons. I met the horse's owner as this horse is living on the field, she doesn't belong to mum's friend, and I thanked her for allowing me to ride her horse. She said because her horse lives to eat, she needs the extra exercise. I found her difficult to begin with but half way through the ride it was slowly feeling like I was in control. I do think I was gripping my reins a little tightly and once I loosened them and felt the contact, things went a little smoother. Although she was fond of walking on pavements and grass verges but again, once she knows I'm boss, it may be better. I'm hoping now I'll feel more relaxed in Tuesday's lesson and regain my confidence that did get slightly knocked this week. The nicest thing about today was that mum got to see me ride properly for the first time and she said I'm a very good rider and that I really should be considering dressage once I've got my cantering down and more experience about being the boss. It was a fab afternoon and I thank mum's friend for allowing me this opportunity. :) Until Next time, Marie