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.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

The Rules Changed

It was like being transported back into winter today as the icy rain and sleet came down heavily on our yard. I decided that Shadow would be my chosen ride today and once mounted, we headed up the farm lane to do the farm hack. It was Shadow and I, Another rider and Bella and my instructor. Shadow and I followed Bella and not once needed any real guidance as I followed Bella's hooves sounds. No warm ups today. Straight onto a rather boggy field and a new notion for me. How many times when you're learning to canter do you get yelled at to lean back? More times than I care to remember right now. But today, it seemed we were going to canter up a hill. Yes, so what does that mean fellow horse riders? Lean forward. For a second, my mind was like, what? I have to canter, while leaning forward? How will that work? I guess I didn't even have time to think about it which is probably a good thing. I gave a big old squeeze, gave the signal with my seat and off we went. My seat with shadow is pretty perfect in canter now but I half expected it to all fall apart as I'm leaning forward up this small hill in canter. No! The complete opposite occurred. I got straight into a canter which has probably never happened on him before or at least I can't remember it doing and I stayed beautifully in my seat and cantered nicely up the hill. I was sort of blown away by that and my seat was apparently very neat once again. My God, is it actually true? Cantering is becoming as natural as the other two gaits? Feels like it to me! My first trot was complete chaos. But the second, my instructor insisted I get him collected. I think she's toughening me up for lessons now as she's becoming more demanding on what she wants to see. I guess she's always done that but the past two days has been adamant about getting my trots collected and controlled. The second was beautiful, I used my half halts to keep him in check. Down the cobbled lane we went in a lovely walk. He was behaving beautifully today and my instructor commented on how he was taking good care of me again. She was off in front with the other rider for some of the route down the cobbles which I enjoyed as it meant I got to spend some real time just riding and feeling the bond between this wonderful horse and me. Another trot that was collected, beautiful and forward and continuous with a few reminders that I wanted him to keep going was enjoyed. And onto the back lane for a final canter. He wanted to get home so fast, forget about cantering trots were had. She had me come back and work on my bossiness with him. On the third go, he was trotting like his life depended on it and a good kick and off he went into a canter. I was pleased as it meant, even when he was trying to defy me, I could, in a fast trot get him to listen and I won that battle. The dreary weather had no hindrance on my mood today. I was complimented on how well I'm doing without a walker/leader and my position is very neat. I'm excited for the future and I'm feeling my confidence building with every ride for different reasons. Back to the yard and I untacked him and enjoyed a lovely cuddle with him. He was the second horse I'd had a cuddle with today as a very cute pony was making friends with me over his stable door while I was waiting for our ride to get ready. Horsey cuddles have to be the best! So until next time, Thanks, Marie

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