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, 17 March 2012

New Things

Topaz was my first ride of the day. He was half asleep but got him into some decent trots. We had someone walking with us as we were in lead today but for most of the ride she wasn't really walking with us. I was surprised how confident I felt doing this. While we were walking down the cobbles, my instructor told me she wanted me to try and do diagonals on my next trot with Topaz as he has such a long gait, it would be easier to feel. She asked if I knew what diagonals were, and I had an idea but wanted to be sure. So she explained that when you're on the right diagonal, you should be rising when your horse's right front leg is going forward with its rear left. And the opposite is true on the left diagonal. I asked, if the right one was the most comfortable as I know the right side is known as the outside and the left is the near side. She agreed and explained how she goes off of feel alone as to know which diagonal she is on so the test was for me to learn which diagonal I was on. I tried this in the next trot and felt I was on the right one but my instructor was distracted by another rider needing her help so we decided to work on my diagonals on the next ride. On the back lane, I gave a squeeze, got into a fast trot, another seat push and squeeze and off we went into canter. A few months ago, once I was in that fast trot with a horse, I'd never get them into canter but have managed to do so with both Topaz and Shadow on a few rides recently. My confidence and balance is clearly improving. my rein contact feels natural and legs and arms are staying where they're meant to be along with my posture being good. This really all does help in keeping balanced and control I've found. I untacked him and fed him some polos before mounting my lovely friend Shadow. He was very responsive today and didn't appear to have any itchiness which gave my arms a break. We did the road route with him today and there was only two horses on this ride today. So we followed the other horse and rider with my instructor just giving corrections where needs be. We worked a lot on diagonals today. I started off in a right diagonal and then she asked me to try for a left. I know in time, I'll get this much faster but she was pleased with my first attempts today. Only once I got the diagonal I was on wrong when asked and couldn't count when she asked me mid trot to switch and ended up on the same one I had before but then managed to switch quite effectively to the opposite diagonal. We did diagonal work on all the trots in this ride which was fun. Our first canter was pretty good. Just let my heels come up a little but it wasn't anything to knock my confidence. Another trot and then for our final canter that was amazing! He was forward and I remember why I love this horse so much! So fast in canter! I love a horse that moves at speed. Crazy? Probably! :) The canter went all the way until the end of the lane and I was so proud of him. Felt really good and as the spots of rain began to fall, I was happy I'd had two such dry rides without a coat. After cuddles with him, I left the yard feeling like I'm getting more and more prepared for what's to come next in my riding experience. Until tomorrow, Marie

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