Site Loader

The horseflies were out with a vengeance

Sometimes the little unexpected things can cause problems to such an extent that changes to routine practice are required. Frustrating as this is, I’m learning to accept change where required, and adapt accordingly. Tuesday morning started out in a positive fashion.  Both Blackjack and Riley were to have lessons with Emma (my coach). Normally, I tack up Blackjack and wait for Emma to arrive before setting off to the manege. Feeling brave, I decided to head there on my own and get on board.  Unfortunately the horseflies were out with a vengeance and Blackjack was becoming increasingly troubled. Being the anxious type, I began to worry as to where this could go, particularly since he is only young and I was on my own, so I decided to abort our forthcoming lesson and jumped off and returned him to his stable.

Riley didn’t look quite right

Now it was Riley’s turn and once I had tacked up, Emma and I decided that it would be prudent to ride him in the indoor school rather than having him bothered by the troublesome flies in the outdoor manege. Once we began trotting, Emma pointed out that Riley didn’t look quite right. He had stopped a couple of times and was reluctant to move forwards so we were drawn to the conclusion that he wasn’t.  Whilst Riley’s comfort is always at the forefront of my mind, there was a tinge of disappointment as we had booked an Intro test for the following day.

A yahoo canter

Emma decided to put him on the lunge to assess him and he went wild. Although she had only asked him for trot, she got a yahoo canter and he whizzed around making her almost dizzy. He was clearly sound and ready to ride so I hopped back on board. By now Riley was clearly happy and we both enjoyed a super lesson. The icing on the cake was that we also had the best canter together ever. Despite the unpromising start to the lesson, real progress was made.

Day one of the mission began

It had been a simple decision for me to take Riley to the indoor arena as we have ridden there so many times before and he is comfortable with it. Blackjack and I on the other hand haven’t, and since we were only at the beginning of the sunny weather season and the accompanying pesky horse-fly problem, the issue of getting Blackjack used to the indoor needed to be resolved quickly. Blackjack had only been in the indoor school a handful of times until now, so day one of the mission entitled ‘get Blackjack comfortable with the indoor school’ began.  We walked him over to the indoor school and led him around it number of times. He is young and can be a little bit nervy although he is able to process things pretty well with repetition and we could see him becoming more and more relaxed with each lap of the school. Since then, trips to the indoor school have become more frequent. Hopefully we will be able to ride together in there very soon and the confounded horseflies won’t get the better of  us this summer.

Mercifully both ponies accepted them graciously

  I don’t know if it’s just the area where we are based or whether it’s a nationwide thing, but the horseflies have been particularly vicious this year and have caused problems with some horses locally. To combat the issue, Riley and Blackjack have had to wear fly masks for the first time during turnout. Mercifully both ponies accepted them graciously.  I suspected that Riley would be fine, as he doesn’t object too much. I was more anxious about Blackjack having to wear one as he might have refused. Happily he let me put it on, and so far has kept it on. Fingers crossed that he remains accepting whilst these nasty little horseflies are still around.

If you enjoyed reading this, you can catch up on the earlier instalments of the life of Riley here  

Sharon Howe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts More From Author

About Author

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…


Subscribe to my Newsletter