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, 3 March 2012
I had yet another two rides today as the sun was shining despite the rain falling on my way to the yard. Waterproofs on and everything and the sun decided to shine on down on us. I am not complaining. I rode Bella first today. She and I were having a tricky day. She was not for trotting for me. This was partly due to her own stubbornness and partly due to my crazy acrobats on her back. My whole upper body was doing a dance of its own today oddly enough. We attempted to canter but besides the almost moment I had with her, it was a crazy fast trot. I did try to canter without anyone leading today which was a step forward and I wasn't really disheartened by the fact that she and I didn't get the canter. To be honest, I know its going to take a lot to get there with her. On the back lane, we waited for horse traffic, having had a final lovely trot, and I banged my leg on a metal thing as we were walking back out from our side position on the road and then got attacked by a branch. My instructor and I were doubled up laughing. Again, no canter but there were moments I thought, she's going to go. A few more rides with her, I think I might actually crack it! For my second ride, I chose to ride Shadow. Getting on him always feels safe and I remarked today on how it sometimes feels he's taking care of me. No leader/walker again today and for a lot of this ride, like the previous, it was me and horse and I was pretty much left to it. The feeling of freedom is getting stronger with every ride I do. I'm becoming confident as a rider although Shadow gave me little trouble today unlike Miss Bella who was insisting we walk on the right hand side of the road. I did win that battle eventually with her but she can be one stubborn mare. My trots with Shadow at first were very all over the place so my instructor said, she wanted a more collected trot from us. That makes me smile, a year ago, I didn't know what a collected trot was, let alone how it felt or how to make it happen. On our second trot, we had a brilliant one. Down the cobbles we went and he was so in tune to me today, listening all the way and really working with me. The affection for this pony just keeps growing! A third trot saw a little bit of hey, lets run with it and not do as I'm told but I stopped him and tried again and it was much better. I started doing this thing with him today, as when he's following, he sees the pony friend in front and he'll start to move without me asking him. As a guide dog owner, I know the importance of making the animal do something when you ask and not until you ask. We worked well on this today and he really responded when I pulled him back and kept him there. I love how our relationship continues to improve. On the back lane, we went for a canter and I got a beautiful one! It was collected, forward and so smooth and I was so in my seat. I was so proud of him! My instructor was very pleased and I feel my confidence as a rider has boost a whole new level today just because I did both rides without someone walking alongside me and the ponies I was riding. I was in complete control on both routes and managed to keep both ponies on their best behaviour. One thing that annoyed me today on our first ride as Bella and I went on the road route was when a car sped up as he was passing my lovely Bay beauty! I patted her as we got by and said she was such a good girl! Ignorant drivers make me so mad! Good thing our horses are not easily spooked. I untacked Shadow by myself today and treated him, as I had with Bella to some polos. Big cuddles for the tall, white, handsome fella and something really cute happened today. As I was waiting to take him into his stable, I had hold of his reins and he rested his head on my shoulder. It made me smile so much! One piece of very exciting news, is that I asked our school owner today if, maybe, once the nights are lighter and she has more time, if I could possibly start lessons with her! I was expecting stunned silence and an awkward moment but it never came. She said yes, no problem and then joked on how she'd be shouting, no, Marie, this way! I guess I'd need a few walks around the school but I think she sees how much I've improved and come too and figures, lets see how much more we can go. After all, it was her idea to start trying the lead file and that has paid off, look at today's ride. So, hopefully, in a few weeks, I'll be starting to have real lessons in the school and advance my techniques. I was so sure I'd get a negative response but I should have known with this lady, she is up for the challenge as much as I am. Also, a certain tall, white, handsome friend of ours is being entered for horse of the week. I've been given the go ahead! So until tomorrow, Thanks for reading, Marie