So here we go then! Another Cumbrian Heavy Horses moment 🙂
The weather was kind to us and we had blue skies and warmth on both days although not constantly. The verdict from my riding buddies was ‘fab’ and ‘when can we do that again?’. The guest house in Kirkstanton was lovely (The Fold Guest House), a really nice breakfast and comfy rooms with a friendly host and hostess – I have to say I loved how comfy my bed was after the hands-on day and the view from my bedroom was lovely. To get woken up by the sunshine before a day of riding – brilliant!
We had chosen a hands-on experience day on the Saturday stretching from 9:30 until 5pm then a beach ride on the Sunday with a very early start for the tides – one of my buddies could only do the Sunday so drove down on the Saturday night while myself and the other lass arrived on the Friday. As always the customer service provided by Annie and her team at Cumbrian Heavy Horses was fabulous, we felt like part of the team not just people coming to ride and it just shows the different levels of interaction you can have there.
On the riding front, well, I am a little frustrated with myself as I got off 3 times on the Saturday during the rides out and I was very stressed out and upset at these points. Both Annie (the owner) and Holly (the lass who looked after us on the hands-on day) were amazing with my nerves, as were the people riding with us – no one made me feel ridiculous and they all offered helpful advice which I am planning to follow up on. On the beach I had a full blown panic attack but I didn’t get off (in no small part due to the fact I was in the sea) so I didn’t do the galloping or really much cantering at all. I have been a bit miserable about that this week hence the length of time to put this post up (and the fact there were around 250 photos all in) but as Mr Inelegant Horse Rider said “but you are smiling in all the pictures, you love riding who cares if a couple of times your nerves got the better of you”. He is correct so I’m not going to go into any more detail about my nerves on this trip and instead let the photos speak for themselves! The one thing I will say is that I learnt from my buddies that I talk to myself during these moments saying ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I’m not okay’, ‘I’m getting really nervous’ and the like, I wasn’t even aware I was doing that!
So moving forward I am trying to work myself out of the habit of my anxiety, it won’t be easy so I might not post after every lesson, or it might be a short one but I am sure I can do this.
Oh and if you get the chance to ride with Annie and the crew (they are all unfailingly lovely) you should go for it! I am back in August – well if they let me back that is 🙂 !
**Many of these photos are courtesy of Leanne Marie Maddison and her lovely husband Dave who followed us on foot, thanks so much for letting me use them guys