This weekend I hacked out with two girls I hadn’t met before, one works at Seacliff and the other has ridden with them for years. It was a lovely experience, not only because the har and drizzle cleared to show clear skies and beautiful waves. I cantered four times, twice on the beach, once in the field on a track and …..drum roll please, once in a stubble field. I am pretty chuffed with myself and my nerves.
Obviously being the super, hyper self-critical idiot I am I wish I had done more but I felt in control and allowed situations to play out and continue rather than panicking and pulling up the moment my nerves reared their heads. Even continuing to ride for 30 seconds or so really helped, it makes me remember that most things are simply the horse adjusting itself. I also made sure to hang onto the neck strap, I don’t need to but it certainly relaxes me at the moment and let’s be frank if anyone judges me on that well so what?
This weekend’s riding joy came off the back of yet another rather frustrating lesson at my regular stables where Am and I didn’t set the world on fire but more importantly my love for riding and my belief that I can ride took a little bit of a hit. I got around five minutes of instruction and my positive for the whole 45 minute lesson – ‘I had a good trot by the end’. Well woop-de-doo I actually had a good trot at various points throughout the lesson but it was never seen. Then in the sole canter exercise I couldn’t make the transition properly. That is just frustrating – 8 years I have been learning to ride again and I CAN canter so to be told ‘you are tipping forward’ and then used as an example of what not to do just made me feel useless and frustrated.
I came back to Edinburgh downhearted and beating myself up. On the spur of the moment I phoned up a different riding school and booked a private lesson for the 21st. I just feel that I may benefit from some one-to-one tuition and that currently isn’t available at my regular stables.
After offloading my frustrations onto Mr IHR he made an interesting point. That I had ridden three times in the last four days. That I had smiled and laughed after two of them, telling him all the daft details but that I was focusing on the one negative experience and allowing it make me feel rubbish about one of my hobbies that gives me the most joy. He suggested not going to my regular stables for a few weeks, just going and riding for enjoyment or not riding at all. Well the 2nd option wasn’t really an option, so I decided to go for the hack mentioned at the start of this post at the weekend and remove the stress of a lesson where I feel like the dunce of the class. I am sure I will be back to my old stables, not for a while due to other circumstances but at least this weekend I will still get to ride with my usual classmates who, along with the horses, are the main thing that keep me at my old stables.
I just received all the horse riding pictures from my wee Icelandic trek around Reykjavik so soon you will get a full review of that experience…don’t worry it was a good one 🙂