Oh for crying out loud. Today the riding did not go well, I did manage to voluntarily dismount while Td was moving and just essentially gave up. I got back on about ten minutes later and did a bit of walking around but frankly feeling quite a lot like giving up for a while. Ho hum, could rename the blog the Inelegant Cyclist?? Just being a melodramatic fool but there it is. A different instructor and I really didn’t click with her at all but this one is all on me, not on anyone else or on Td – just cannot see how I can hack next week and enjoy it. Some positive mantras in the mirror??
**I just wanted to add a couple of sentences following a chat with a colleague today who is a learning technologist who suggested that perhaps I should look at how the different instructors make me learn. This instructor gave little to no direction to me (I felt, I know it is all subjective) but perhaps that could make me take more control over my own learning. After all I know how to ride Td – what I should have done was take a breath, worked out why I was tensing up and try to correct it myself – all well and good with hindsight but I should try to bear that in mind. Also I should have spoken about P before the lesson as I have ridden him often and while the instructor didn’t seem to know him, a few of us do and what he did to Juli-anna (mentioned below) is sometimes what he does, we should have let her know. **
On a different note I was very impressed by my classmates today. B was tearing around like a horse possessed, cantering over poles and generally rushing about – Gemma did brilliantly slowing him and checking him. She was balanced and never let the speed phase her, instead working on different ways to get him listening, he was getting out in the corners beautifully for her. Juli-anna had P for the first time and it was a baptism of fire as he threw all his tricks at her -bucking like a trouper, cantering unexpectedly and jumping over the poles. Again though she took in her stride, working out different ways to slow him and staying balanced while he mucked around underneath. I was impressed by both of them, I would like them to bottle their confidence so that I can steal some 🙂
So in order to try and make this post a little more interesting I thought I would quickly mention some horse riding memories, that way I can focus on the fun I have had previously. I went to a lovely riding place up near Aviemore a few months after I had started riding again, so 7 years ago!!!. I was given a lovely coloured cob and it was just myself and the instructor heading out across moorland, through heather and into forests – trotting on little paths and chatting as we went. The woman assessed me as we went and on our way back through a wee deserted wood on a mud fire road she asked if I wanted to try a canter. We set off and I instantly lost a stirrup – I shouted ahead but the lass didn’t hear me and we kept going in a lovely controlled canter until we pulled up before the end of the forest. I pointed out my lost stirrup and she was horrified then told me that I had a better position than I clearly thought. We ended the ride laughing about it and I got to give my horse a carrot as a treat. It was a lovely hack.
Another time in the Lake District, before I started my love affair with Cumbrian Heavy Horses, I rode at another stables where I was given a wiry wee mare who I initially was nervous of but with each trot section my nerves dissipated until again a wee group of us was asked to hold back to canter. I was told to hold my mare looking the other way as else she would tear off after the ride, ooh you can imagine it put me a little on edge, then next thing we turned and headed off. Well my wee mare was dancing, she jumped over each tuffet of grass, springing about in the canter and well just loving it! Her enthusiasm was infectious and I was having a ball! We cantered a couple more times with her bobbing and weaving. It was great fun but I now realise I should have been up off her back – it would have been way more comfortable for the pair of us!
So that’s only two memories but hopefully it will help me remember why I ride! I ride to enjoy it, I ride because I love horses and I have to remember – I AM A RIDER (somewhere in there I am one, even if just now I have forgotten it)!