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.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Always Learning

It was another glorious Thursday afternoon at the stables this week. I was very excited to ride my tall white friend again. I had my usual instructor back this Thursday. She's very good at getting the best out of me and pushing me to do better all of the time. I am grateful to her for this. I was doing the single file follow again yesterday. This was harder as the horse we were following only had his front shoes on so I really had to listen. We were working hard on getting my distances right and minus one too close stop, most went rather well. There was a lot of road work involved yesterday which was good for me as we'd been doing mostly farm hacks recently. I was getting corrected on my legs yesterday. They were too far forward so I had to work on keeping them further back so I wasn't giving my horse mixed messages. I soon kept my legs where they were meant to be. I was concentrating on keeping all of my weight in the heel during walk and trot. My rising trots became much better as a result and the instructions I was giving my gentle steed were much clearer. Because we were on the roads, we had to ensure we were sticking to the left of the road as well as moving in and out of cars that were parked. Instead of using my reins and leg to move the horse to the left or right, my instructor asked if I would keep the reins where they were and just use the leg. This was strange at first as I've just mastered moving my hands with my legs to move the horse but soon it felt much easier and he responded nicely. We got some good trots in and I was getting used to listening for the other horse's front hooves. It was made slightly harder, along with the no back shoes to listen for because of traffic but I learnt quickly to tune into that sound. There were four attempts at a canter, two of which were disastrous. This is why a horse rider should never become complacent or boastful about their abilities, because you will often be your own downfall. I lost a stirrup on the first attempt, and managed not to fall off. However, my second attempt was out of this world. I was completely in the seat, balanced and moving as one with my lovely white friend. My instructor was so confident with my ability that she let go of me on this canter and I was cantering independently for about two-thirds of the canter. That was an amazing step forward for me. My third attempt wasn't great. And I know that was my own fault. Not enough seat or leg. The fourth was pretty awesome but not as good as my second canter. I know it'll be as consistent as my trotting is before long. After the lesson was over, I untacked my wonderful friend and brushed him off, Un-plaited his tail and learnt to put his head collar on. This was a great new thing to learn and I then lead him out to the field and took off his head collar and off he went to graze and be with his friends. Overall, it was a wonderful lesson and I look forward to Tuesdays. Hopefully, I'll be learning more and more stable management stuff now the school holidays are over. I'm also hoping to enrol on a basic stable management course with the look to study an animal therapy course to be able to massage dogs and horses. It's something I've wanted to do for a while now. I massage my guide dog a lot at home, as I'm qualified as a holistic human therapist and practiced a lot on Bailey during my training. I would love to transfer those skills and adapt them to give dogs and horses relief from stress or injury. Thanks for reading as always, Until Next time, Marie

1 comment:

  1. It's always a pleasure to hear how much you're getting out of riding. You're learning so fast!

    Using your legs without your hand is such a big step up.You'll soon find your horse is more receptive the less you do.

    Congratulations on your canter - again. Let's face it if things didn't go wrong we wouldn't be able to enjoy the good times! At least you managed to hang on in there!

    Looking forward to Tuesday.