Back in the Saddle


I made a foray back into hacking during the 1st weekend in April. It was the first time since January I had been outside on horse back and I only cantered for the first time since January on the Wednesday beforehand. The viral infection I have had since December last year, which wasn’t picked up by me until my body began screaming at me to ‘JUST STOP’ during January has really knocked me out. Unfortunately my balance has been most affected and I have been so tired at the weekends that I cancelled many hacks booked with the thought ‘Oh I will be fine’, at times my lessons have been really tough and my instructor Claire has been brilliant throughout. One lesson I simply walked Wee Gem around the arena as two strides of trot had made me want to vomit, another lesson I cancelled two hours beforehand and all they want to know was if I was okay.

This meant the April hack was a real highlight for me, I cantered twice – both times just myself and the leader but the first time was really good and a decent length of canter. I felt really balanced as I was concentrating more than normal and looking straight ahead. The second canter #FlameTheWonderHorse felt I was off balance before I did and we slowed to trot pretty quickly. The gorgeous chestnut dude looks after me like no other horse can, with Twix gone my fondness for Flame grows each time I ride him. I felt full of joy for my hobby again until it struck me I have been riding again for 9 years! Yes, let me repeat that 9 years! Suddenly I started analyse everything – why wasn’t I better? Why were my nerves still around? Should I continue to do this if I can’t even trot in a group without being a little nervous? Why do I bother? You know the totally normal* things people say to themselves about a hobby.

I floated these ideas to Claire at my last lesson and as she stood rolling her eyes at me, explaining patiently to a 34 year old woman to stop being an idiot she suggested I set some goals for my hacking and my lessons. She also pointed out that I can walk, trot, canter and jump so really I can ride, I just still don’t believe it. To that end I have been thinking about what my new horse riding goals can be and have decided to set three and start to work towards them throughout the year.

  • Hacking wise I want to canter in a group, that’s all, nothing fancy just straightforward cantering in a group.
  • Lesson-wise goal 1: Learn 2 new dressage moves for flatwork, if Claire agrees I would like to perfect leg yield in trot and try it in canter
  • Lesson-wise goal 2: Jump a small course of jumps in canter. I don’t need big jumps I would just like a wee course. I haven’t done this for years! This one will wait until my balance is fully restored

So that’s it! I have written them down and will chat to Claire next week to see where we go from here. On a different note, I am planning on changing the blog slightly and will focus on reviews of riding establishments and quarterly updates of my riding – this applies to the horse-y part of my blog other posts will be written and published but I have realised that it might be helpful for other nervous riders if I write up where I ride and let them know my thoughts! Any comments on my goals or the horse-y plans for the blog I would love to hear them.


*sarcasm on the go here 🙂


The Nerves Receed (Kind of)

So last Wednesday it was almost as though my instructor had read my blog and opted to put me on P again – I reckon part of it has to do with the fact he is now available again during the week, the lass who had him on loan can now only ride at the weekend. Well it went much better, I had a better attitude coming in to the lesson and also part of it was I didn’t feel I could write another post so soon after the last talking about my nerves as regards P. 😉 Continue reading “The Nerves Receed (Kind of)”

Daydreaming Horses

Back to the riding and this weekend I threw myself back into it fully with my normal lesson and my dressage training. We are now working on British Dressage Introductory Test B which I find a lot more flowing but despite my fellow trainees (this makes us sound so official  rather than a group of riders just learning 🙂 ) mapping it out for me I still came unstuck halfway through and had to ask for it to be called out. I have Tx for these sessions and you can read about our first attempt here and then my 2nd attempt with Td here. Continue reading “Daydreaming Horses”

Dressage Test Take 2

Well you read about my not-so good lesson last week, this week was much better! I had asked if I could do my dressage test training during my lesson since I had been a muppet and missed my bus on Saturday. When I turned up my instructor informed me that I was going to be riding a different test which involves 2 half 20 metre circles and getting the horse to stretch in trot – As I stood looking suitably bemused I was also told my dressage pony (the ever lovely Tx) doesn’t come back from his “weekend” field until Thursday so I would be riding Td but had to pretend he was Tx – cue more confusion from moi.
Continue reading “Dressage Test Take 2”

A Wee Horse-y Update and a Question

Am and I are not quite friends yet, maybe acquaintances and sometimes it feels more like she despises me but more on that later.

My Wednesday night lesson was overall pretty good, some nice control and posture work – focusing on my head position which felt a little odd having so much attention paid to your head – plus some good canters and general bend work which is coming along ok BUT I am still experiencing problems with getting my weight evenly down both legs. Continue reading “A Wee Horse-y Update and a Question”

Cantering in the dark (kind of)

A quick mid-week horsey update. I had a lovely private lesson yesterday on Tx. I haven’t had private lesson in a couple of weeks so it was great to get one in, unfortunately it is now pitch black by the time I get to the stables and it is floodlight time in the school. Yesterday it was windy, windy, windy and with horses in adjoining fields, lights and funny noises coming from the yard as my instructor put it “all a horse needs to try and take the p%**!’. So I didn’t let him!  Continue reading “Cantering in the dark (kind of)”

The School Master and the Upstart

Apologies for the delay in writing this post it is almost time for my next riding update! Also I managed to get no pictures whatsoever but it was horrible weather and we ended up finishing in the dark so to be fair the pictures would have been terrible 🙂

So last week, well it was a day of two halves – a lesson and a wee bit of a dressage test interspersed with me picking up horse poo, cleaning tack and grooming –  oh the joys of helping out at the stables.  Continue reading “The School Master and the Upstart”