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I couldn’t hold myself together and had a little cry in the tack room.

I love waking up each morning and heading off to the stables to see Riley, I just hope he feels as excited at the start of the day although I suspect the only time he feels excited is when he sees hay. The staff at the yard tell me that when they put haylage in the field he gallops over and whenever I bring him in from the field, he always seems to have the biggest pile. On Monday morning I turned him out and after removing his headcollar, I watched him walk away as I often do.  He never gives me a backwards glance, but it is a joy for me to watch him grazing and if it wasn’t for a stable that needs mucking out, I could happily stay there for hours. Tuesday morning arrived and as usual, Riley and I had a lesson. It would be unfair of me to say it wasn’t good as we worked on serpentines, leg yields and sitting trot and Riley gave his best effort. Yet I came away deflated as at the end of the lesson my instructor Becky said that she didn’t know what our next step should be because outside of the lesson I wasn’t attempting canter or lungeing and if I didn’t try both of those we were not going to move forward.  I knew she was right, but I couldn’t hold myself together and had a little cry in the tack room.
Feeling happier after a fun afternoon with Riley
After turning Riley out, I thought about it again and was determined to change things and so booked a lesson on another horse to work on canter.

We did manage a canter to the cheers of the other group riders

On Tuesday afternoon I returned to the stables to bring Riley in for our group lesson.  I wasn’t expecting to canter after the morning’s conversation with Becky.  The other four people in the lesson cantered and then Becky said for me to try and it wasn’t at first successful so one of the other riders cantered in front of me to see if we could get Riley to follow.  We did manage a canter to the cheers of the other group riders and I came away feeling elated.
I used to ride Elvis prior to buying Riley so I booked another lesson with him to help regain some confidence in canter

Canter had now become an issue

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I schooled Riley although stayed in walk and trot as I knew that I wasn’t asking properly for canter.  Canter had now become an issue for Riley and myself because he wasn’t doing it when I asked, and I was becoming more anxious about it and scared to let him go. In my effort to regain my confidence in canter, I had a lesson on Elvis.  Unfortunately, it didn’t go to plan and I almost fell over the side in canter.  I wasn’t able to have the whole school so had to canter on a circle and whilst I have done this many times before without any issues, my mind went into panic mode and I found myself over steering and feeling more nervous. It seemed as though I was sinking into a bigger canter hole than before and I felt rather gloomy as I walked Elvis back to his stable although there wasn’t too much time to dwell on it as I picked up my fork and began mucking out Riley’s stable.  There is always something lovely about making a nice bed for Riley and this gave me just the pick me up I needed.
Riley is always on the lookout for an opportunity to have a cheeky nibble of the grass on his way to being turned out
On Sunday, I groomed and turned Riley out and decided to give him another day off.  We had our little one-sided conversation on the way to the field.  I am sure he takes it all in although does ignore the word ‘no’ when he is trying to take a cheeky nibble of the grass when we walk through the first field on route to his field which is slightly further on.

Sharon Howe

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Hi! I am Sharon Howe

Country & Equestrian Blogger

Hello My name is Sharon Howe and I am horse mad. This site is my place to scribble away my…


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