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I can hear horse owners all over the world chuckling.

My dreams of one day owning a horse never included the part where my horse walked away when I go to catch him in the field.  My actual vision was one that walked up to me as I waited at the gate.  Even as I write, I can hear horse owners all over the world chuckling.
Riley can wait patiently and be well behaved when he wants to

As I have yet to share these dreams with Riley, he isn’t aware what is required of him and so when I went to the field on Monday to bring him in, he walked off.  I partly blame myself as I have been lulled into a false sense of security.  When I go to bring him in from the field, he always seems to be the furthest away and never walks up to greet me, however I have learned to live with this and since he at least normally stands and allows me to put his head collar on, I have revised my ideal scenario.

Riley Stands Victorious

He is always eating when I enter the field, and whilst he knows I am heading towards him he rarely lifts his head and is either munching the grass, or when haylage has been put out, he is stood victoriously by the biggest pile.  Once I reach him, I wait for a moment to let him come up for air and put his headcollar on.  Then I always feel rather proud that he is prepared to stop munching and follow me.

So, on Monday, he obviously thought I was becoming too accustomed to catching him and was clearly not ready to stop eating and walked off.  I followed him and he stopped at the next pile of haylage so I thought I would snatch my opportunity. Unfortunately, my cunning plan came to nought as another horse came over and Riley’s ears went back.  I didn’t want to be in the middle of that kerfuffle, so I stepped away and Riley saw this as his opportunity to walk to the next pile of haylage.  At this point I decided enough was enough and I was going to catch my horse.  I am not sure if my confidence or Riley’s lack of resistance won the day but catch him I did, and we walked to back his stable.

Horse Riding Lesson Tuesday

Discussing with Becky some of the issues faced during the lesson
Tuesday was our usual horse-riding lesson Tuesday and I was nervous as I headed into it knowing Becky would make me canter.  I was determined that when she gave the instruction, I was going to get on with it. One of the other liveries was watching my lesson and told me canter wasn’t anything to worry about.  Deep down I know that and only a couple of months ago I was cantering every week without any problem. I replied telling her that most of Riley’s issues were in my head.  We did manage to break into a few strides of canter during the lesson and I was annoyed at myself as it wasn’t half as bad as I imagined. On Wednesday we had another lesson and there was the recurring theme of me being nervous about canter.  I should remind myself that worrying is a waste of time as we worked on trotting serpentines instead.

Steering leaves a lot to be desired

Riley loves being groomed each morning
Thursday, Friday and Saturday I groomed and then schooled Riley and we went for a short hack after each session.  I didn’t have the opportunity to canter as each time I there was another person schooling their horse and I don’t want to attempt it unless I am on my own in the school as we aren’t always successful and my steering leaves a lot to be desired.   On Sunday, he ended up having the day off which I am sure he loved as he wasn’t aware of my plan to ride him later that day, although like all good plans it didn’t happen. After grooming and then turning him out, the day vanished before my eyes and I returned to the yard later than I had hoped.  Luckily throughout the week there wasn’t a repeat of Monday’s ‘you can’t catch me’ scenario.
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Sharon Howe

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