Monday, 28 January 2013

Sometimes You're Thrown A Curve Ball

A Lovely Hack In The Sunshine, Although I Did Unintentionally Find All Of The Gears This Horse Has - Lively To Say The Least!
Two days ago we had 7 inches of snow at home, and the driveway was as slippery and steep as a luge run, but two nights of rain, raised temperatures and it is all gone. The yard where I have been riding these last few weeks has managed to keep it's arena open during the snowy period, although turnout has been abandoned due to very soggy paddocks.

Yesterday, I rode in the arena on the flat trying to work on my balance, and the horse's acceptance.  This went reasonably well, but as I'm quickly coming to realise, I still have some way to go to get my core stability back. As I noted before I've been totally spoilt by the very balanced and accepting horse I've recently retired, which means I have to work even harder with this temporary loan horse that is a very nice mover, but a little less forgiving of me, and perhaps needs a little schooling on the flat.

So today I thought I'd head a mile up the road back to my yard for a lesson. I learnt as much from the hack as I did from the 20 minutes spent in the arena under the watchful eye of my tutor. My 'core stability' is not all that stable, short of strapping a board to my back I need to need to spend a lot more time on strengthening by back, six pack, and legs (and my ankle is still hurting).  I can feel my back collapsing causing me to fall forward in the saddle, which is obviously no good, and my legs aren't bringing him through from behind as much as I know I could.

For much of my time in the saddle, the horse was calling for his friends, and any other horse he saw.  I suppose  more than a week of being snowed in can give a horse cabin fever too. I had been told he was fine to hack out, and I have no reason to doubt that. Although he was keen, he was manageable and not uncontrollably spooky, I just wish I taken the 'cabin fever' into account and warmed him up in the school before I left. The hack home was even more 'spirited' but I managed to keep him in a trot, and even walk down the road, even when we came a cross a girl picking up litter with a big flapping plastic bag. As soon as we hit the grass verge though for the last 400 yards home he was breaking into top gear the moment I eased the contact.

Another weekend of lessons remembered, and progress albeit small. Not the instant return to the saddle I was dreaming of - but that was just a dream!

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