Unfortunately I have been a little unwell over the last few days, so apologies if this post is not 100% coherent. Now I think I already knew that I would be given P during my private horse riding lesson yesterday.
I mentioned last week that I thought I would be nervous when I was given P again and I was. Even in a lesson with only myself and him where I thought he would be calmer (no other horses to show off for) I was still nervous.
I got him warmed up well, we doing a lot of trotting work trying to help me understand the ability to help the horse move if you are balanced correctly and using your body weight to turn instead of the reins. Cue a lot of circles in sitting trot without stirrups, it did make me realise how easy P is to turn if you work with him. It also settled me down quite well, I just need to remember these things in slightly more stressful situations 🙂
Just as I was feeling a little happier he decided to spook. Immediately I pulled up and started explaining how I couldn’t do this. My instructor calmly told me that if I can’t deal with a horse spooking or bucking then I shouldn’t do beach rides, two hour hacks or jumping. My first reaction was to say ‘Well maybe I shouldn’t be’, the look I received for that comment was interesting to say the least. She then asked me what I thought he had spooked at. I said I wasn’t sure but that it had felt like he was slowing down and looking for something to spook at. ‘Exactly’ I was told, I had lost his attention and he decided that if he spooked then he wouldn’t need to do what I was asking him to do. She also pointed out that he was busy looking into the hedge when I should have had him looking to the right, the way in which we were about to bend.
Confidence slightly rebuilt I set off round the school again, I knew what was coming next but still tensed up slightly! Then cantering, cantering large, cantering changes of reins and turning him across the school on a sixpence. It was great, I managed to remember to sit back properly and the power increase from P was brilliant. I did forget to breathe quite a few times leading my instructor to force me to sing ‘Nellie the elephant’ while cantering around.
So the main thing learnt from this lesson? A horse can turn on a sixpence, get your balance, make your horse look where he is going (helpful), keep their attention and breathe during canter! I will let you know if I remember these things during next week’s lesson.