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, 22 April 2012

Drenched and testy Ponies

I picked today to do two rides. And it definitely felt like April today with the sharp showers we experienced. I asked to ride Topaz at first and helped to brush and tack him up. I was having bridle issues today. Not sure how I got it backwards but there you go. I mounted him and we were in lead file so had someone walking with me. He was full of energy and our trots were fabulous and my diagonals were bang on! I'm so pleased these are coming along nicely. It felt slightly strange having ridden a horse with a short stride and then riding my lovely long strided friend today but a different stride and gait is always good to get used to in my opinion. Our canters were good today. RI just advised I use seat to keep him going more but I was pleased on the two I got. Then, something bad happened! It started raining! And I don't mean drops of it, it poured. Poor pony got soaked as we didn't foresee such a down pour and had neglected to put an exercise sheet on. This started to give me trouble. Horse did not want to stand still. Wanted to do backing up, fidgeting and then walk into some trees. I did get rescued this time as I had no way of turning him. I never felt unsafe or scared during the time, felt weird going backwards but did manage to get him forward but then he wouldn't stop and we ended up in the trees. She backed him up for me and I was lead the rest of the way as he just was not listening and was in a pure rush to get home. Being part thoroughbred, his blood gets colder quicker I was told and once we got back, I helped untacking him and putting on coolers and a thin rug to dry him and help him warm up. He was shivering to get his body warm. I felt so bad for him. Poor Topaz's mane was dripping wet. I did ask after my second ride how he was and he was doing much better, in his stable rug and much warmer and happier again. This incident didn't put me off. I kept calm and knew that I would have to deal with this kind of thing at some point. And I have a lot of trust in the girl who was taking our ride, my usual instructor so I felt no need to worry or panic which I know if I had, would have only made the situation worse. I rode Shadow next. This horse has been out with me on countless occasions in the rain so I knew he would be fine. He had his exercise sheet on during our ride so he was much happier than poor Topaz had been. I decided, being a big brave girl today there was something I needed to attempt. I needed to mount my lovely white friend from the ground instead of a mounting block. If I was out hacking, and fell off, providing I could locate my horse again, I'd have to get back on without a mounting block so I figured I should try it. They lowered his stirrup to the lowest one, I only have little legs standing at 5,4 and even though it did make it slightly harder, I couldn't have reached the stirrup otherwise. I put my left hand on my reins and the front of the saddle, Right one on the back, and jumped up with a little push from my RI. Swung the leg over and in the saddle I went on this huge 15,3 horse. I swear he's bigger after today heehee. We lead again so had a leader, well walker. Trots started lovely and got my diagonals bang on again with him which is pleasing. Ground wasn't as great today and he wasn't as fond of going into canters on it either but got a short but nice one. After that canter though, and we had done about 4 trots too, he started to lose interest. Our last two trots were filled with effort and by that point, I felt the same way. Nearly time to head home? Yes,! No canter on the back lane so RI made me go back and try again. Got a few strides, he had had enough and at that point, I was so wet and cold, so had I. Time for him to go get some hay and for me to go home and change clothes. It was an interesting and yet cold ride today. I wish I could have done something more to help Topaz during my first ride but not sure, I did everything I was asked to do. Kind of feel, my sight let me down here as a sighted rider wouldn't have allowed him to go into the trees. So slightly disappointed there. Just glad he got home and got warm and Shadow was good overall too. I know I was slightly lacking in energy by that point too being so cold and wet but glad I had all those experiences. It really makes you think. So until next time, Thanks, Marie


  1. Great post Marie! Sounds like an adventure! I have to say I'm impressed that you weren't scared when Topaz decided to do his own thing. I still get a bit worried when a horse I'm riding reacts in a way I'm not expecting. Also, I think that if a horse wants to go to the trees, there's not much any rider can do, sighted or not! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Having only just read this I totally agree! Rest assured blind or not he'd have dragged you in there kicking and screaming if he 'doesn't do' rain :)

  3. Thank you both for your comments. :)