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, 4 February 2012
Three pairs of Socks Couldn't Save Me
Snow was forecast today and not just a flurry of the white stuff, big heap, sheets of it. I had checked the weather and it had said, snow flurries from 2 O'clock and then snow from 4 O'clock. I decided that if that much snow was going to fall that there would be very little chance of a second ride tomorrow. I asked when I got to the yard if I could have both rides today and it was absolutely fine. I decided to ride my tall white friend. He was raring to go this morning which didn't bother me in the slightest. I had a walker today because of the ice that was in patches along the road route but at this point ice was very sparse. We were following another horse in the beginning that was not one of our usual horses so a lady who owns one of our school horses was riding him to get him used to being ridden in a group like ours, I guess. He wasn't for going, no matter what so a crop was called for. My lovely tall, white, friend decided to back away from the crop but he was OK. We carried on for a walk until we'd got off the farm and onto some roads that were not patched with ice. We did some amazing trots. I really felt like I was pushing up through the thighs and keeping my heels down. During walk today, I noticed how stable I was in the saddle. I didn't feel floppy and could feel him more through the saddle than I ever had previously. There wasn't much good ground for cantering today but we had two possibilities on this ride. The first, all the horses seemed a little spooked or just crazy about something. It didn't happen but I wasn't surprised. Some more great trots were had and we got to the back lane to try for our last canter. I got a good solid one. I'm seeing more and more now that the canters are not just a few strides but lengthy and continuous. Just needed to stay in my seat a tiny bit more and relax but I'm blaming the cold. I was almost frozen by this point. I gave him a huge pat and was pleased by our result anyway. I did notice something today. The pulling down with his head and generally being a little fidgety with his head seems to have something to do with his reins. Apparently, our school owner says it is something to do with when his neck is hot, but I noticed as he was doing it today he's rubbing his reins along his neck which ties in to what she said. I know if I'm hot, we sometimes rub our necks or faces and can get a bit itchy so guess this is what he was doing. We got back to the yard, I took his bridle off and loosened his girth. Then decided to ride him again so I put the bridle on myself and lead him out. Neither I, nor the girl with me remembered to check the girth was tight again and when I put my foot in the stirrup, his saddle slipped. He was a good boy and stood waiting patiently while I untied it and we reset the saddle again. Poor thing must have thought, what silly humans these are today. And as I mounted, successfully, the first flakes of snow started to fall. We opted for the road route again but had a bit of a variation. Apparently my rising trots look pretty awesome now and I have fantastic posture while doing them. I feel as though this is true and my heels are down, my posture's good, elbows are in and shoulders are back. It's a good feeling. The snow by this point was sheeting down and we only managed a further few trots. My tall white friend had stopped itching his neck and was quite happy trying to catch the snow instead. He was amazing today and I felt amazing on his back. Because the snow was coming down so badly by this point we didn't even try for another canter but I know I could have got one if the weather had stayed stable until the end but the snow was coming down thick and fast so our priority was the horses and humans safety. After returning to the yard, I dismounted, my feet like blocks of ice and tied up his stirrups, took of his bridle once in his stable and put his exercise sheet over him and his stable rug. He did look funny with snow flakes in his mane. Lots of hugs and I went outside to wait for a taxi home. Even the three pairs of socks hadn't saved my feet from freezing! But it was well worth it. I'd be surprised if there were any rides tomorrow from our yard. It's still snowing now at gone five PM. So lets hope the evil white stuff has vanished by next weekend. I can't wait to see my lovely horsey friends again. Thanks for reading, Marie