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Good intentions

So far, each day in June seems to have begun wet, windy and cold.  This particular June day commenced in the same fashion with both Blackjack and Riley coming in from the field with damp rugs. I wished that I had added the waterproof liner to Blackjacks fly rug when I had turned him out, and also wished that I had ignored my weather app that had assured me that rain wasn’t expected overnight. In a bid to dry Blackjack’s rug, I had put it over the fence with the full intention of moving it before my lesson as Blackjack and I would have to walk past it on the way to the manege.  As with all good intentions a memory lapse meant I forgot all about it.

He began to dance around 

  Ready for our lesson, we headed for the manege. I could see a horse being turned out in the distance which Blackjack seemed very interested in, which I couldn’t understand since it was a horse he had seen everyday in the field. He began to dance around and became a bit of a handful although I remained steadfast in my intention to walk him to the manege. Whilst trying to move him forward he became even more troubled. At this point I realised that he could see his rug on the fence and was unhappy about something being where it isn’t normally.

He spotted another horse having a good yahoo round the field.

I finally reached the conclusion that we were not going to be able to walk successfully past the rug, so I turned him back to where we had come from and headed back towards his stable. Luckily for me, Sam, our farrier was on the yard so I asked him to hold Blackjack whilst I moved the offending rug. Once the rug had been moved, we tried again. Still not quite trusting that all was well in the world, Blackjack continued to dance all the way to the manege. To make matters worse, he spotted another horse having a good yahoo around the field.

Emma clearly had different ideas

We finally arrived at the manege. When Emma (my coach), joined us I declared that I wasn’t sure about getting on and hoped an in hand walk might calm the situation. Emma clearly had different ideas to me and directed me straight to the mounting block. Apprehensively I got on board and after a brief walk we quickly began trotting. I attempted to keep Blackjack’s mind on the job which to be fair to him he did.  He was forward but focused on his work. I had to inwardly remind myself not to panic and just let him be.

My worst fears were proved correct

I suspected that Emma was going to suggest (insist) that we canter and my worst fears were proved correct.  It was probably our best canter to date, it wasn’t very long but he went straight into it and I stayed upright. We ended the lesson on that win and whilst lately I have been hacking back to the stable, I thought today wasn’t going to be one of those days and hopped off immediately.

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

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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