Sitting on a chair is boring after you’ve been sitting on a horse

25 11 2012

I had my second ride at that lovely new riding school today! Why so long? Well, for the last couple of weekends I’ve been working (a job that wasn’t much fun that I have now thankfully escaped from!), I couldn’t get my class time for Monday evenings changed as I’d hoped and fitting in a riding lesson during the week around my university commitments proved tricky, especially since I started another new job during the week.

However, I got there in the end! This one was only another half-hour private lesson, as this was the only time they could fit me in this weekend since I only booked it on the Friday as a last-minute thing. I thought I was having my lesson at three o’clock, but I arrived to find I was half an hour early, which gave me an opportunity to have a wander around and say hello to all of the horses. Heh.

I rode Soapy again, and this time she was a bit of a handful because apparently it was feeding time while I was having my lesson. She was generally well behaved, but it was noticeable that at any time she thought she could get away with it she would make a move towards the exit! The instructor I had today was a lovely, warm and friendly woman who was even better than the young man who’d conducted my lesson last time. Her main criticisms of me where that I sit with my legs too far forwards, but she helped me to do some work on that so I was much better aligned by the end of the lesson, part of which was having a good, long trot around the (outdoor) school without stirrups, which I love doing! She also forced me to work on controlling Soapy with delicate motions from my legs rather than great kicks and yanking on the reins (which I had been actively encouraged to do at the previous school), which was amazing as it really felt like magic when I got it to work, and Soapy was much more responsive to gentle aids. I also learned what a half halt is, and how useful it is!

I told my instructor at the start of the lesson about my terrible canter, which she acknowledged and said we’d work on it today. In the end, I got a 45 minute lesson because the instructor was determined I was going to have a proper canter large around the school before we gave up. Heh. The problem seems to be that once I get the canter started I lean forwards, and my poor mount is confused into dropping back into a fast sitting trot. We did get there in the end, following what my instructor said was ‘a really nice transition’, but Soapy didn’t want to keep it up because she wanted to have her dinner, so I let her cool off and we finished there. She thinks it would be a good idea for me to do some cantering practice on a lunge; I remember this being useful before when I was in Japan, so I’d certainly be more than happy to give it another go.

I felt really happy afterwards. This is what it’s supposed to be like! I’ve booked myself in for another private lesson this coming Saturday, and from the following week I shall join the adult beginner’s class every week.

YAY HORSES!

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5 responses

26 11 2012
Sparrowgrass

Oh the hours I’ve spent failing to canter large! Usually now I don’t have a problem with it although I rode a new and rather unbalanced horse yesterday and struggled to keep in canter for more than a couple of strides. It sounds quite similar with the horse thinking I wanted trot again, but I got through it and I’m sure you will too. Best of luck for Saturday and for the class!

29 11 2012
onahorse

Thank you!

28 11 2012
mellchan

Is it just me or are there a large proportion of draft cross horses where you’re at? Shire horses? Seems like a lot of the horses in your photos have a large size, feathers, etc. VERY beautiful! Just curious to know if there is a reason? Is it like the TB and quarter horses that are EVERYWHERE here?

29 11 2012
onahorse

You know, I’m not sure. It seems to vary from school to school. The percherons you saw a lot of from my previous school in Nottingham featured so much because Damian is pretty tall, so he can only really ride big horses. The feathers you see on Soapy are a characteristic of cobs, which are very common throughout the UK as they have a lovely, companionable temperament and aren’t too big for the younger riders. There is a mix of lots of different horses here, though. I guess you mostly see the Arabs, thoroughbreds and warmbloods in the upper crust dressage and racing circles, which I wasn’t born into the right social class to ever mix in. Heh.

9 12 2012
mellchan

Oh, Arabs…..and TBs…..upper crust lol. I forgot to mention that there are arabs everywhere here as well. It’s interesting to see the parallels!

Cobs are adorable but not many around here, I saw an add for one on sale locally but they wanted all the money I have, a blood test and my first born child! Well, not really but you get the idea, it was expensive.
Yes, I too am a lowly sniveling insect compared to most dressage circles. However, I have noticed that lately there is more access for us “normal” folks in the dressage world.

Now that you mention upper crust, I was fortunate enough to attend a jumpers competition…..I was thinking I would enjoy taking photos and maybe do a little shopping….uh, everything was incredibly expensive. AND, I thought I was wearing classy casual clothing, I shouldn’t have bothered trying, I was way outclassed and couldn’t afford anything, even the clearance items!

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