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, 12 May 2012

Canter! canter!

I ordered some new long riding boots this week from the UK Equestrian shop, Robinson's. I've been wanting some long boots for a while now since I new this equestrian dream was panning out but I'm reluctant to buy some gorgeous leather ones online as I have big calves and struggle getting into knee length boots at the best of times. So I'd physically need to try them on before buying. While on the website though, I came across some long boots that have knitted tops so they accommodate the bigger calf so I decided to invest a whole £8.99 as they were on sale. They arrived this morning and so I wore them to the yard today. Verdict? I love them! The sun was sort of shining but there was a chilly wind today so coat was kept on. I arrived to the yard to discover that Shadow is doing much better and is getting there and was allowed out on rides today. I did not choose to ride him though as I made the decision to work on my seat on bouncier horses. I opted for the pretty, Welsh Section D. I've started to fall in love with. And although I was expecting a routine ride today, I did not get one. We walked up the hill then our incredibly huge ride was split into two. The more capable riders who are slightly more advanced and the riders who still need much more. I had a leader today as the pretty mare I ride is a lot of work and not being a school pony is much more lively. We lead the group and on the field were asked to canter. No trots to warm up, straight from the walk up the hill to a canter. I'd asked Hay Net's agony aunt for advice as you guys know last week and today really put the advice into practice. I attempted to feel like my legs weren't on the end of my body and my first canter was beautiful! I really kept in my seat and went with her so well. Our RI today decided today would be the day we cantered, cantered and cantered some more. And we did. Some of my next canters started off rocky then I got into the seat again. I now see what I'm doing so much more which is helping as I can correct it when I'm doing it. This ride today truly helped me conquer some of my cantering issues on bouncier ponies. I seem to tense up my legs instead of loosening them and grip the saddle with my upper thighs which then pushes me up out of the seat. It makes sense now I had all that time to see what is going wrong. And as soon as I feel it, I let the legs go floppy and I can find my seat again. Its a great improvement! I just need to ensure the leg tensing doesn't happen at all but nice to know exactly what is going on so I can work on it. I'm not a crap rider after all, I just need to relax and love it more, just like I do on the smoother gaited horses. The one trick I did which I'm not sure is text book but worked, was stick my legs out a little to the side, away from the horse's side. This did enable me to be more in my seat and give me the ability to still keep my heels down and balance great. We did around six or seven canters today, one after the other and this truly gave me the insight I needed and gave me ample chance to find my seat so much more. On the last two canters, my RI said we were going to work on my trust. She had one of the other riders go in front and I had to canter after her. This excited me so much as yesterday I read about Peter Charles, a British International show jumper leading a blind rider around a show jumping course and that is how it is done. That makes me so excited! When we were walking back to the yard, I told my RI about it and she said, that'll be you one day. I laughed but knowing she thinks its possible, not necessarily competitively but knowing she didn't dismiss it made me smile. On our last attempt at an independent canter, my seat was awesome, but we were veering a little and pretty little miss decided that she was going another way. But I managed to stop her and turn her around. The peg like grip with knees and thighs helped with the reins to stop her today and she realised I wasn't playing games. Its good I'm being given challenging ponies as it means I can learn how to handle anything. :) So all in all, my normally predictable ride turned out to be anything but predictable. Thanks for reading as always, Marie

1 comment:

  1. You're doing great :) So excited for you.
    The blind girl I worked with used to do trot and canter poles first. Then we raised them up so she got the feel of jumping. I used to shout the last six strides so she had a rough idea what was coming but once she'd done the poles she could feel from the horse when the first one was coming up.
    This is such a positive time for you. Enjoy it, you're on a roll :)