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, 20 May 2012
I was very close to not going to the yard today. I did feel a little dispirited this morning over my riding. I didn't think yesterday had got to me but it really had. I just felt a pure lack of out of control yesterday and with my recent escapades with some of the other horses, I've felt a pure lack of confidence. But sitting in my kitchen, eating crunchy nut cornflakes, I gave myself a good talking to. "You are not giving up! You're better than that! You get back on that horse and show them you're in charge." A good few words from some great horsey people reminded me down times have to exist in order to appreciate the good and having a bad day is normal along with learning many different horses. Without all of my experiences, good and bad, I'd never become an all rounded rider. So I went and dressed and headed up to the yard with a positive attitude. I asked if I could ride Kenny, despite having a mixture of choice. Kenny's the lovely coloured gelding that I felt very unnerved on for some time. His bouncy gait used to make me feel unsafe. I put on his bridle and lead him to the mounting block. Once mounted, and off on the ride, following beautiful Bella. His walk and trot were lovely. Forward. The first trot was a little ploddy but I quickly got him forward which was nice. He wasn't leaning on my hands and despite a few failed canters, I got one eventually and I was so in my seat which pleased me greatly!!!! We headed back and I felt my spirits lifted and decided to get back on the lovely Magic and see if I could get her more together and listening to me today. She was a live wire today. Her walks and trots were collected and forward. I do love her trots so much. I had someone on hand but for a lot of the walk and trotting I just had someone around or running alongside which was a huge improvement. She can be very fidgety and something I learnt today was to relax my hands more with her as she is very soft in the mouth and my tensing was not helping her in the least. Once I got that in my head she was a little more calm and collected and not trying to go wherever she wanted. Yesterday, she tried to follow the girl I was with but without someone walking alongside us for some of this route, she was listening to me more and we were following another horse to begin with until later on when she decided it would be better to head in front which the RI okayed. The canters you ask? Oh well, they were speedy. At some points, I wasn't sure she was going to stop despite me putting the breaks on. Dude, where's my breaks kept popping into my head. But feeling bad for the girl running with us, I loved the speed and the feeling of her canters. I was so in my seat and I think that was part of the reason we kept going and going. That was a nice feeling but obviously her lack of listening during canter was not so great. My RI told me to use half halts as she was rushing herself. I swear a slight nudge may have made her go into gallop, that was one mighty fast canter, and I'll safely say the fastest canter I've ever experienced. The tough thing I found, was told today to keep hands relaxed and I know she's soft in the mouth and despite using my knees and thighs to try and stop her, she just wasn't willing to stop. Do others find this happens if the horse is in a particular mood? Anyway, our second canter, I was doing on, off,on off, with my half halts and yet she was still going, going, going, at some incredible speed. Another rider who was walking today with her sister who was riding, told me she didn't know how I stayed on. But I do. I stayed on because I kept going with her, stayed in my seat and kept my balance. After we got off of the field, we went for another trot and then just walked where we were now in front. The girl walking with me wandered to talk to our RI I think and the girl behind me who often leads but was on horse back today was chatting to me and directed me to turn right down the cobbles. I managed the horse much better today and she was listening to me more even when our walker was alongside me. Another great trot and then to the back lane where until yesterday this gorgeous mare had never cantered for me. But today was different. And the canter was collected and no where near as fast as before. We had a break into a trot, then back to canter which was amazing! I loved it!!!! Today just proved to me, push through it and you'll get there. I reeked the rewards and despite losing the breaks, it was a good experience. I need to work on the control in canter with her and work on my breaking technique with a horse that's sensitive in her mouth as she is. Too much tension on the reins and she gets narky and dances around understandably. I had fun though today and felt like despite our breaking issues I made some progress on this pony and even on the lovely Kenny who we all nicknamed King Kenny today as I have ridden him much less than the others at the yard. So a totally different feel today. Thanks for reading, Marie