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.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Unexpected surprises

I got to the yard to be told I was riding a horse I have never ridden at the stables before. He is the tallest of our school's horses at 16.1 HH I believe and is a lovely, cheeky bay. He and I have been acquainted when I've been at the yard when he tries to eat me, my cane or something outside his stable door but he is very handsome and full of a beautiful spirit.

Most of the horses I ride are around 15 HH so I was a little further off of the ground today which was fine with me.

Once up in the saddle, we went out on a group hack along the farm route. He's very responsive to leg and much lighter than some others in his mouth which I quickly picked up on. His gait is long and slightly bouncy but not as bouncy as the coloured I ride but slower too than my tall white friend. I struggled initially in trot, managing to rise but not in a comfortable and rhythmic way I am now expecting from myself. Although I will cut myself a little slack seen as this was my first ride on a horse with this kind of gait.

So when my instructor asked if I was ready for a canter, I wasn't expecting to get one. But a good four or five strides were achieved as well as losing a stirrup.

I noticed with this giant bay lovely that my heels seemed naturally to take my weight, my position was much better and therefore my balance was incredible.

After we got down the cobbles that all of the horses take their time on, understandably, we attempted another trot and this one was amazing. During this trot, I knew I'd love to ride this horse again without hesitation.

The responsiveness of him to my legs, asking to turn was amazing and the last attempt at a canter was much improved than the first. I love cantering on this giant bay.

Back at the yard, after a good ride, I chose to ride my tall white friend. So I bridled him up and lead him out, mounted him and we took the road route for this ride. I felt my left stirrup was shorter, but then I didn't, but generally wasn't comfortable in the saddle with him today. I'm not sure why. It did improve after a few trots.

He was in his tossing head mood today which put an interesting spin on the lesson and I could not get him into canter. Strange how, I cantered on a horse that I'd never ridden but this familiar friend, I could not get into canter. I'm not sure if it's because of being lead, something I'm not doing right or what? I feel my position is much better on him now than before but did pull back on his reins once which I was annoyed at myself for doing. I'll figure it out what it was I did wrong or whether he was just having a bleh day. I guess the tossing of his head could indicate something was not impressing him but some things are beyond our control and some things we do are what causes it. But I was happy to ride him and get two decent rides in today.

Once back at the yard, I helped to fill the hay nets up and was glad to be given another new job to learn. Pulling hay from bales is hard on the hands in a chilly autumn breeze but I soon became used to that sensation. I feel useful when I partake in yard jobs and always learn something new.

It stayed dry, I helped out and had two good rides on two wonderful yet different horses, it was a lovely morning.

So until next time,

Thanks for reading,



  1. Sounds like you've had a great time. I'm glad you got to ride a different horse too. Is he a different shape to the others you've ridden? Narrower horses are often easier to get your leg round - might be why your heels and legs felt so good. Something to think about when you're looking for Mr Right!

    I can hazard a guess at why you found your white horse more trouble this week. You probably expected more from yourself simply because you knew him so well. That makes us all try harder and the minute we do that things tighten up and things don't go according to plan.On the new horse you were probably a bit more cautious. That's just a thought an I wasn't there so I could be totally wrong!

    Glad you're still enjoying the experience. Lorraine

  2. What a great experience on a new horse! I know from riding different heights and builds that some horses just fit my shape - my legs fall into the right place, and I can maintain heels-down and squeeze better on certain neddies. Some horses shapes, heights and strides really do suit some riders better than others - I'm glad you've had this glorious feeling on the handsome bay today 80)

    I agree that the experience on your tall white friend today might be a product of comparison. However, while I can switch horses half-way through lessons and change ride-style immediately, there are some saddles I can't adapt to immediately (both of them synthetic actually). They come in different shapes and sizes too, and sometimes having a direct comparison from two consecutive rides just serves to exaggerate it.

    Don't be hard on yourself though - it sounds like you achieved a lot today in so many ways. We all have days where our riding varies, for better and for worse!

  3. Thanks both for your input. I do agree, comparison probably played a lot in my troubles last Sunday. Although, I was glad I had that consequtive ride situation. I'd say the shape is a tiny factor but I also think your pull up idea Lorraine is coming into full effect in my rides now. I feel myself unconsciously pulling up in the saddle now and my weight transferring to my heels with such ease. :) and yes, Miss or Mr Right are increasingly getting a longer must haves list to their future. :)