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, 25 February 2012
Feels Like Flying!
Hurray for the spring like weather this week. Seemingly, Britain has enjoyed some rather spring like temperatures and so today's ride was set to be an ice free and snow free one. That is definitely a bonus for me. The sun was actually shining and the birds singing when I was walking to the yard this morning. Funny how a spring bird song can just put you in a great mood. I opted to ride Shadow today and was pleased on his forwardness and how much he was listening to me. My usual instructor was off riding duties today and we had another young lady. Incidentally, this very young lady had been my first leader with Harry on my first ride at this yard. She's taken only one other ride out that I can remember and so it was good again for me to get feedback from her if I needed it. We followed another horse on this ride and headed up to the farm route. We've not done this since the week I was wearing those horrible boots so I was rather looking forward to it. His walk was incredibly balanced and forward. It felt really nice sitting in that saddle this morning. Our trots were so forward and continuous. This has been an issue as I wouldn't always rise enough and frequent enough for him so he'd slow down but today we kept it going well. There is a lane that we refer to as the cobbles that is a sloping cobbled lane with trees on either side. Today, it wasn't the trees but a black bin bag that was the big scary monster. I was impressed. Shadow just walked on by like a big brave boy. A further trot took us to the back lane and there was a huge truck parked and a car unloading things. Forget the canter. Every horse trotted like there lives depended on it. But I wasn't disappointed. I knew it wasn't me or Shadow's partnership it was the big scary monster, AKA the car. I had considered doing two rides today as it was so dry and beautiful and once we got back to the yard, I concluded that would be what I did. The lovely, coloured gelding was my next choice. I haven't rode him in a few months and decided, despite how he leans heavy in your hands, I was going to see how I would adapt to his very bouncy gait. Most of the horses I ride, have a lovely smooth gait but this lovely chap has a much bouncier one. It used to unnerve me but I'm feeling much more confident in the saddle these days so decided to give it a go. I loved this horse in walk. I had forgotten how comfortable his walk is. He was full of energy today and we took the same route up. My rein contact seemed good although I've struggled in the past getting good rein contact as he is so heavy in your hands. We trotted relatively nicely. The adjustment to the bounce was relatively easy. I couldn't keep him going as much as I usually can with other horses but I suspect that is because our working partnership is not that solid. He was also a brave boy past the scary monster, [the bin bag] and our last trot was nice. We did this last part of the route slightly different which meant manoeuvring the horses 180 degrees to turn back and head another direction. This was good to check my leg directions on this handsome boy. He responded very well which was a relief to me. Always nice to see what you've learnt is very transferrable. On the back lane, where we often do our last canters, I remembered how much leg and seat this fellow needs. I guess that didn't bother me and so the young lady taking the ride said, lots of leg, and that's what he got and to my ultimate surprise, off we went, flying! I had never truly appreciated how lovely his canter was until today. And the best thing, when the young lady shouted for me to lean back a little, instead of tensing, my body adjusted accordingly and the canter was the entire length of the back lane. I've had that happen only on Shadow and Topaz before so this was a great feat for me. And today, I actually could enjoy and appreciate this horse's canter instead of worrying what I'm doing or not doing. I wasn't thinking, we're going to stop, I was enjoying it and felt my heels down, my elbows in and shoulders back and relaxed. It was amazing! I truly felt like I was flying along and when we came to a stop and walked a few paces which I was amazed to see we were near the leading pony, and the young lady running with that pony during its canter complimented me on my canter on this pony. I was shocked and somewhat pleased. Two weeks in a row I have been told my canters are looking good and a little bubble of pride did erupt inside of me. I have to be honest. I dismounted and gave a lot of the big horses some carrots I'd brought for them. So this early spring like day turned out to be a pretty lovely one for me. So until tomorrow where I shall bore you all some more with my riding, thanks, Marie