A lovely weekend in many ways but it was irritating as I had planned to get a new bike this weekend but when I went to the bike shops they had none of the models I wanted to try out. It is my own fault as I should have phoned ahead but hey! Also one of the tops I got on a lovely trawl through the charity shops has a huge rip under one arm – only noticed this halfway through my day at work. I am assuming it wasn’t noticeable rather than my colleagues wondering if I had been attacked by wolves on my way to work but being too polite to ask. 🙂
Horse riding wise I had a bit of a nothing lesson with P. I haven’t had him for a while and I was given him to get me out of my comfort zone. We are about to start learning to jump (I used to jump and have done a cross-country holiday but it has been over a year since I have done anything and many of these horse apparently think they are show jumpers – eep) and my instructor wants to push us all to get us to know that it will be a little unnerving but that is okay, we might miss, we might do badly and we may even hit the deck. I guess the idea is to make sure that we don’t enter this whole exercise too confident, I can definitely understand that but I have always found jumping hard and frankly sometimes was just chuffed to get it over with!
Anyway back to the lesson, I trust many of the horses but P I don’t. I just tense up a little, I think it is the fall I had from him but I don’t know. I did find it interesting that my instructor doesn’t remember my fall, or pretends not to, it is nearly a year since it happened and I think it is probably a good thing she doesn’t remember as she doesn’t allow me any leeway because of it. For the whole of the lesson the walk was pretty difficult, I couldn’t get him moving, bending or even on the outside track at times! I know that if you allow P to take an inch he will take a mile and make a total fool of you but I was getting downhearted until my instructor pointed out that it was meant to be hard, this was me being pushed and this wasn’t going to be easy.
The right rein was particularly bad, the left rein better – frankly the fact I can now distinguish that one rein is better than the other is an improvement. We worked on rhythm in the trot, shortening and lengthening the strides which was fun but god I was having problems getting him into the corners. At the end of one of the trot exercises my instructor shouted that I needed to have a good enough trot to canter, I didn’t really so P bucked a few times but his bucking is more like rocking as he tries to get power into his back legs so it doesn’t feel too horrific. Then on the second canter on left rein I got it again! Wrong leg initially so he swapped but I sat, did my candle breathing, outside rein up – not out – and kick kick inside leg – I did it!! Another proper lovely canter. It felt brilliant and while our downward transition was pretty crap I am focusing on the positive and P got a lot of praise. Plus I decided, I know what to do, I know how to ride P so the next time I get P we will be in that school and working immediately no ifs or buts. The lesson would have been much more productive if I had him on the aids. I need to get him listening to me and accepting I am in control, for that lesson I reckon I only had full control for 15 minutes in the hour!
So all in all a lovely weekend I think, it is giving me a chance to work on the new year idea of being more positive about my riding and not letting the fact that I feel I used to ride P well make me feel down. I got a great canter, backing up that last Wednesday wasn’t a total fluke – that’s a positive and I’m taking it!