So that’s that then

A couple of weeks ago I came to the decision that I couldn’t really do the one thing I had my heart set on for this winter. I had planned to bring one of the Cumbrian Heavy Horses up to Scotland on loan for their off season. I had planned to have my own horse for wee while to let me see if this was something I could do all the time. I was really excited, full of nerves too but they were secondary to the excitement. They had offered me Ollie, who is the giant pictured below, nothing was official but I had the loan document and was looking for a yard and that’s when I hit trouble.

Ollie the clydesdale and me
For scale – the door behind us in huge 🙂

I can’t drive, currently I ride at places served by buses – finding the perfect combo at a livery yard proved too hard. I wanted somewhere I felt comfortable to ask for help, somewhere that I could get to and of course somewhere that could take a 19h horse. There were a couple of other considerations such as I wanted to be able to at least ask my old instructor to come and teach me on the Clydesdale. Anyway, it didn’t happen and I had to make the call that I couldn’t bring the horse up.

I am pretty gutted. I thought this was the year that I would have a horse and I don’t. On Tuesday last week I visited my old instructor at the wee livery place she runs and went for a hack with her on one of the ponies. It was lovely, it was around an area where I played as a kid so it was a little special that way too. We had a lovely canter along the side of a field and a proper blast across a stubble field which felt amazing. It was a wonderful night and I hope to do it again a few times over the winter, another friend has invited me out to ride with her and her horse, it just keeps underlining for me that I do want my own pony. So in a very roundabout way I guess I need to learn to drive *sigh*, I have put it off for years and years. Always a little worried that I will get lazy and drive everywhere but I’m not sure I will. Well people of Edinburgh I apologise in advance I reckon it might be a wee while till I get to grips with driving 🙂

On a different note today’s lesson was a mixed bag of bleurgh. B carted off with one of my mate’s in the first ten minutes. She stayed on but had to spend the rest of the lesson getting him back under control. Td was a wiggly prat, with a bit of coaching I managed to get him to listen to my aids but each time we moved up a gear he simply threw his toys out the pram and went all wiggly again. I did get some good tips including on the old moving my arms trick, it has been seven years and I still find it difficult to have my arms move in the walk. I simply don’t understand how other people’s arms are moving. The instructor today was instead trying to get me to understand relaxing my hands, she showed me a couple of basics stretches and I seemed to get movement for a wee while then lost it again BUT at least I got it and I can keep working on those stretches and movements. Td and I did have a wee canter at the end but it was hardly brilliant, sometimes it does feel like one step forward one hundred and ninety six back but I guess we do it because we love it. If it was easy where would the challenge be? I would still like to know the feeling of working with a horse for a prolonged period of time though, I quite often feel that if I got to ride Td tomorrow, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday things would look pretty different…or not but it would be fun to try and also fun to take him out to the fields and paths and go exploring. One day it will happen.

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