Autumn definitely has swept over my town this week and yesterday's morning ride was a chilly one.
I was given the choice of my tall white friend and the lovely bay beauty I have ridden several times before. I decided that, even though Tuesday's ride had gone amazingly, I should switch horses again and see how I could handle my bay beauty. So decision made. I did get to see my tall white friend as my instructor asked if I would brush him for her. I was more than happy to do so.
It is good to ride different horses, especially during the learning period, in my opinion, as it will test different skills and teach you various ways of handling and responding to different horses. The horse I rode yesterday is much lighter in the mouth and I really noticed the difference as I picked up rein contact. She needs much less on the rein for halting than some of the other horses I ride. Trotting on her is somewhat slower and I found I was giving her more rein than I should have because of this. Keeping her going in strides is a challenge but after a while, our trotting was pretty consistent.
I didn't get her to canter but have said in recent weeks, its a challenge I've set myself for before the end of the year. I was pleased though on a few things when I attempted the canter. For one, I had on occasion had the habit of leaning forward when trying to squeeze for a canter, but I didn't do this yesterday. My shoulders remained back and I felt completely in control of my body. My hands didn't pull back and my heels stayed down. So despite not getting her to canter, I did feel a level of control that I have not always felt when attempting the canter. I know I'll get her to do it one day but I am always being told she's a horse that once you get her to do it, she'll respond to you again.
Despite not getting a canter, I didn't regret riding her because I know each time I ride a different horse, I'm learning different things.
She got a little spooked on a road and started to trot but I pulled her back and calmed her down. These small things continue to add to my skills as a rider. Listening to the horse and learning what they need from us. I just need to figure out what it is she needs from me to get her into canter. :) It was a productive lesson and we managed to avoid a huge down pour which was a miracle with the amount of rain about yesterday.
Thanks for reading,