A Wednesday lesson update. So as usual I headed off to the stables for my Wednesday lesson and just as I prepared to leave the office the heavens opened, not heavily but I was confident given the dire weather warnings that I would be riding in a gale and soaked to the skin. So it was a pleasant surprise to find that the rain had warmed the air up slightly and it was falling lightly when I got to the stables after a quick bus ride.
I was initially scheduled to ride B but I must have made such a fuss that I managed to get Ct – now I was only partly joking with not wanting to ride B, yes his speed and quickness worries me (daft really Ct is just as speedy) but I know I have to get over that plus he is damn cuddly it is ridiculous. He was stood for a good couple of minutes with his head resting on my shoulder as we both looked out the yard door hoping the rain would stop.
But I got Ct. Which was fun, it was tough but it showed up all my flaws with how I position my body as he is super sensitive and due to his humongous stride if he isn’t in the correct bend then he isn’t going round a corner for you and he actual just cuts the school in half. So we worked a lot, and I mean a lot on getting the correct bend and maintaining it. Round and round in walk, me realising that my outside leg continues to flap about a lot because I don’t have my weight fully stretched down it giving the horse I am riding mixed signals. I say stay out with my inside leg and by lifting the outside rein but say fall in/go faster with my outside. Just engraving that on my mind for later “stop flapping outside leg, put some bloody weight down it” – once I did that hey presto – I was in the corners and I even got the snorting and dropping of the head as Ct looked to come onto the bit for me. In trot we lost it again and it turned out that if I got a good, active (some might call speedy) trot going we had a lot more success. My instructor was teaching me to slow Ct with my voice, hence the title, which is great as it means I can concentrate on everything else without worrying too much about checking his speed with my reins. Honestly, I couldn’t get over how quickly he slowed for me when I just said “Woah” with the right tone and inflection. Finally, I also need to keep my eyes up and ahead, with Ct more than any other horse it was as though his head was attached to mine – every time I looked down he did the same then looked to the outside.
I am tired and sore (I did an express pilates class yesterday for arms and thought I was doing well until I had to try and get Ct’s saddle off) but it was great fun – it felt like Ct spent that lesson teaching me as well as my instructor. He got a carrot for his reward, then I had to give some to all the other horses in that section of the yard – I can’t play favourites 🙂 B was exceptionally snuffly, I think he was happy he got to stay in the dry.After my lesson on a Wednesday I also help out for a wee half hour until my bus comes so today I was able to rug up B and Ct then helped filing water buckets – there is something therapeutic about being around horses. Although my instructor did tell me she spent part of the day cleaning crap from the back of one of the horses so I may be romanticising slightly – to be fair to her she did say that she felt pretty chuffed with herself when it was all gone 🙂