I know, you're asking, why is she posting at silly O'clock on Christmas Day? Simply, have been too ill and then busy to write this post. But I will say, merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate and hope 2012 is a fabulous year!
To the Ride this week!
As those of you on Hay Net will know, my scheduled Sunday ride, and a double one at that was cancelled due to the weather's incapability of knowing the date and giving my town a very generous sprinkling of snow on the morning of said rides. It should have, yes, waited one whole week exactly and that would have pleased everyone, me included, to have a white Christmas and a snow free lesson. But hey, these things happen. So, we rescheduled for Thursday afternoon.
I arrived to discover, I was riding my lovely, tall, white friend and was sent to brush and tack him up. It probably isn't, but had felt like ages since I had brushed and tacked up. I guess not riding for ten whole days does that to you.
He was being very funny, as we were undoing his rug and brushing him, walking around in circles. I had to laugh. I've not seen him do that before, so after our game of "follow me around the stable", got him tacked up very nicely and much quicker than I was in the beginning. I'm even now able to check things are straight and feel much more confident in this area.
I mounted and we went out on a group hack over the farm area. My position seemed to snap into place but on my first trot, felt a little wobbly. Not sure why that was, the only thing I can think of is my horrendous issues with my mouth I've had this week but it did improve over the course of my ride so I'm not too worried about it.
The field was a giant bog due to the snow and rain but still got a few strides in canter out of him.
My subsequent trots were much better and I don't know, but I just seemed to move nicer with him in walk too. I think this has a lot to do with my legs now. I've consciously been working on pulling them in line with my hips and shoulders and pulling up so my balance is obviously better and my seat is much sturdier too. At least that's how it felt.
On the back lane, we decided to do another canter. I think because my tall white friend and I had had a few stumbling blocks on cantering as a result of me not giving him enough, I wasn't expecting a canter at all. But I stayed in position, gave a nice push into my seat, a good old squeeze and off we went. I was so in my seat, it felt amazing. Then half way down the lane, still in canter, my left stirrup flew from my foot. Did I fall? No! Did I stiffen and go into sitting trot despite having had the best canter ever? No! I stayed in my seat, didn't tense in the least and continued to have the best canter on my lovely white friend ever. No tensing the legs as I sometimes do and end up out of my seat, staying in the fluid movement, going with the rhythm of my lovely friend and feeling like somehow I had unwrapped the best christmas present ever!
I know in time, things seem to click and you feel more and more natural and with one with the horse, that's understandable. I would never have said I'd ever felt uncomfortable as such, even in bumpy trots, or out of rhythm rising trots, or canters where you bounce in and out of the seat; I would never say even then I felt uncomfortable being on the back of the horse, uncomfortable in the stride maybe but Thursday I felt like I was truly comfortable, more than ever before. I know this is progress and everyone has experienced it at some point but if you have, I don't need to tell you how special that is. :)
The best end to a lesson I think I've had to date. So we got back to the yard, after much praise and pats from me, dismounted, [without falling on my bum], and I led him back to his stable where I untacked and give him the biggest hug ever! I had had a dream the previous night of getting hugs from this particular horse, it was nice that dream came true on such a good riding day too!
I'd brought a bag of apples for my horse friends as a Christmas treat so my special, tall white friend had two apples and several polos as he so deserved it. Many of the ponies were out so the horse who had been in lead on our ride, who was my first ride at this yard, the cheeky little bay got two apples. Along with some of the other horses who had been on a jumping lesson.
So I got an early Christmas present from my lovely, tall, white friend, and I'm thankful for that. I hope you and all of your horsey friends have a lovely Christmas and I'll hopefully be back with another regaling tale of my ride on Tuesday.