Sunday was really a day of two halves here in Edinburgh, the morning was sunny and really quite warm in the sun but by the afternoon the clouds threatened rain and the wind started to drive through you. This meant two sets of riding in slightly different circumstances.
I rode Quasar again in the morning. This time we were in the outdoor school and worked on canter transitions and frankly just trying to keep him in canter. I think it really helped with my position as well, I could feel when I tipped forward whilst asking for canter and this meant keeping my inside leg on to keep him moving became trickier. Whilst Quasar is more forward going than a riding school pony he does have a lazy side and won’t just keep going to even the next corner. My mate also rode him briefly and it was a little like watching a masterclass. She was so confident when asking for canter and clearly knew how he would react to different techniques, he also came onto the bit for her the moment she sat on him something that I think I only achieved for around ooh ten seconds. I really enjoyed watching her and when I got back on I did get some good canters but even better I realised what I was doing wrong! A real education that one, plus my confidence increases each ride I have with them. As a wee treat at the end my mate suggested I canter part of the path back to the stables (don’t worry it is on grass and there were no people), I was a little worried but kicked him on and I loved it!! We were flying up the hill until Q spotted a couple of walkers on a path on the other side of the hedge, then we had a wee jump to the side.
In the afternoon I hurried off to my regular stables for my lesson, incidentally I had a lovely breakfast/lunch of a veggie sausage and tattie scone roll from the golf club near to my friend’s stables – delicious. I mentioned in a previous post that they were going to start to give me new horses and the past couple of times I have been I have had the rather cute Seamus, a black cob with a white blaze. He is an old hand but as he is new or rather re-introduced to the riding school aspect he is really quite responsive and sometimes just wants to dash off. I think yet again riding something like Q means that speed doesn’t instantly make me tense up and freak out. I haven’t cantered Seamus yet but I am looking forward to giving it a go and since I am trying a new, more relaxed approach to my lessons I am trying not to freak out about not having done the canter transitions in the lesson environment for a while.
It was a cold, bleak looking school that we rode into, there were only four of us in this lesson with the yard manager joining us on Jm – every time she passed me she was singing away about loving ponies, pretty funny but I reckon Jm and of course the wonderful Tx have that affect. Each time I ride Tx I decide I want a Highland Pony! Anyway back to the lesson, for my part I had fun. We were trying to do walk/trot transitions with set strides of each between. I don’t think any of us managed it spot on but I definitely felt an improvement.
One of my poor class buddies had Ct on a ‘you mean canter?’ day, each time she asked for trot she would get canter and she doesn’t like cantering him at the best of times. I thought she did really well, at one point as she cantered passed I assumed she had asked for canter she looked so calm! Lots of gold stars there. Someone else did say I ride Seamus well which I thought was sweet but I believe Seamus is such a good pony that frankly he makes me look good!