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.
Monday, 16 April 2012
Sunday's Ride: Back To Hard Work
I got my usual instructor back on Sunday and boy do my muscles know about it today? I'm not complaining, I loved every minute of it. And boy did those horses test me yesterday. I rode Topaz first, and he was being a very good boy. Lovely forward trots and the diagonals were back yesterday. I was sincerely out of practice having not done them on the past four or five rides but she had me back into the swing of them soon enough, keep yelling, "which diagonal are you on?" I eventually got them back. After our first trot, we had to turn around to go on the field on our first canter, The pony in front of us turned and then I put my right leg on and brought him round on it to turn him 180 degrees. The girl walking with me was amazed and said I'd turned him on a very small circle and she was pretty impressed. I think that's a good thing, right? I literally felt him turning around on my leg, it was a cool feeling. We went on the farm hacks on both rides on Sunday which I enjoyed. The first canter was lovely on him, so smooth and forward. I definitely prefer the smooth gait with a slight bounce like Topaz's or Shadow's very smooth gait. I had someone walking with me on this ride but she didn't need to do much in all honesty. Just was there, just in case. More trotting and another canter on the field which was more prolonged and energetic. Down the cobbles and along to the back lane where the hard work began. He was not cantering, he'd got it into his pretty head that he was the king of the world and was not cantering for me. So as the other pony had basically had the same idea, our instructor made us come back and try again. Go back? Forget that, Topaz thought to himself and so he and I got into our biggest battle. He was not turning, he was going home to his hay. Yes, Topaz, you are turning, I will make sure of it. My instructor didn't come to assist, just told me to keep being bossy, don't let him win. And he didn't. I have to say, a 16.1 HH of half a ton of horse beneath me, refusing to do what I asked was slightly unnerving, all that fidgeting, all that, no, no, don't make me go, and then the ultimate feeling of whoohoo, he did what I asked made me smile. So we tried again, fast, fast, trot, oooh, maybe I'll canter, nah, I won't and we were done. I was not at all disappointed, he tested me today and I did win the biggest battle. I did a second ride on Sunday on the gorgeous gelding called Kenny who I rarely ride. He has a very bouncy gait and he's my instructor's favourite. He's the lovely one who likes to lean on your hands if you let him. I'm glad to say, he doesn't do it with me now as he's realised that he can't. I mounted him and was waiting around in the sunshine a while as we were waiting for some other riders. We were so short of leaders yesterday, my instructor even had to lead. I was on the ride with two adults who needed leaders and a little girl who my instructor was leading. I was basically told I'd be on my own completely on this ride. I was not bothered by this in the least! After chilling on a very impatient pony after around twenty minutes, in the glorious spring sunshine, we set off. I was bringing up the rear to begin with but Kenny decided Bella, who was in lead who we call his girlfriend was better to be behind. My instructor allowed this as I could hear Bella's hooves better anyway. A lovely walk up the hill and then a nice forward trot, still being asked, "which diagonal?" I found it slightly easier on him, maybe because he has a bouncier gait and its more pronounced, I'm not sure. Then onto the field for a canter. Another horse that decided it was the day to test me. We didn't get one but I wasn't altogether surprised. This was the first time I'd ridden him without a walker or leader at all so the trust must have taken a slight dip. I patted him all the same and continued to test my diagonals on some trots. On some dirt track, I found it slightly harder to hear Bella's hooves and was asked to watch my distance so I slowed him up. My contact did feel slightly different. As I have said, he leans, and so when you pick up contact, it seems hard to me to judge if I've got good contact initially or he's leaning. Onto the last field and a squeeze, trot, another squeeze and canter. It was a good one but I really had forgot how bouncy he was and needed to go with him more. But after this, as its the first canter I've done independently on this horse, and with it being my instructor's favourite one, she gave me the best compliment. She said, I'm really a confident rider and I'm improving every time she sees me ride and she's very pleased with me. I did beam a little inside. This is a horse I have probably rode much less than Shadow, Bella and Topaz and with it being her favourite too, that just meant so much more. Lots of nice pats and some lovely chats, I feel more like I'm on autopilot in walk these days, keeping an ear to the horse in front but being able to enjoy the rides out. I guess I should enjoy them as when I start lessons, I know that's going to be a pure half an hour of solid hard work. :) Thanks for reading. Marie