Apologies for the lack of posts this past week. I had plans to write about the other options I chose for wrapping paper (managed to avoid buying any this year which is a little victory) and my pre-Christmas riding but time ran away with me.
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas (those who celebrate it). It has become nice and cold here with frosty mornings and snow falling in the hills and mountains to the North.
I spent a wonderful, almost magical hour out and about on horseback during Monday. The frost covered ground sparkled as though it was covered in Christmas glitter, it was blue skies and sunshine with the cold so sharp it took your breath away. I wore thermals for riding along with a hoodie, a waterproof and a body warmer, luckily both my mate and I were kindly given full length chaps by the stables which kept us nice and warm on the ride. It was icy underfoot, or should that be underhoof?, but the route was picked carefully and the horse all coped with no problems. We even found some nice canter spots that were lovely to ride upon. After a couple of moments I settled back to trust Flame with his job and to get us to where we needed to be.
I am annoyed with myself for not taking more pictures as it was a stunning day. I had my camera with me the whole time but I did have a couple of nervy moments and the owner pretty must gave a me a constant private lesson for the whole hack, good but exhausting! It felt like I was doing everything wrong. My legs were in the wrong position, my hands were in the wrong position, I was tense, I was paying too much attention to Flame, I was holding myself too still, there was too much air between my knees and the saddle and that I keep pointing my toes outward. Phew! That’s not all of the comments but that’s enough. I guess I have slipped back into some bad habits riding-wise so I know these are all things to work on. Plus she genuinely seems to want to get me over my nerves so I can’t be too upset. Oh and the fact that she admits to having nervous moments helps me realise that my nerves aren’t ridiculous 🙂
I had a lovely fast canter through the field next to the cliffs watching canoeists out in the freezing cold seas. Flame was nice and controlled then I lost it slightly as we started to turn up the speed dial and I passed my friend and was bearing down on the owner oops, so I shouted that I wanted to slow down as I had been warned not to pass the leader as her horse would not respond well! Flame instantly slowed to a trot which shows he was still listening to me and that he was reading cues from the other horses and riders. After a bit more meandering through the frosty air and crunching leaves in the woods we reached a frost covered beach where we had a lovely canter across the sands. I felt worried again immediately after the canter but was made to drop my reins to help me understand that I am not permanently two seconds from being madly out of control.
The pictures below are of Flame at the end of the ride, he was very cuddly, full of beans trying to locate carrots and chewing on my body warmer. He was cuteness personified, or should that be horseified?
So that was my last ride of 2014, a fun, frosty ride with some canters thrown in and room for some improvements! I have been starting to think about how 2014 was as a year and new goals that I can set for 2015 but that’s for future posts. In the meantime have a lovely hogmany! See you all in 2015 🙂