The weeks of horse ownership are flying by and if I am perfectly honest, it hasn’t been easy. There have been highs and lows. One moment I have a huge smile on my face and the next, there are tears.
Make no mistake, I have been challenged.
When you dream of something for so long, the reality of it can be different. I never thought I would buy a horse that didn’t already have manners, nor not know his job, so I didn’t anticipate the attached challenges. Make no mistake, I have been challenged.
A day of smiles
On Monday 24th February, I headed off to the stable yard as normal. After tacking Riley, I headed to the indoor school and had a great walk and trot session and followed this by groundwork. Walking him around, stopping and starting. I then attached a carrier bag to the lungeing whip for some desensitising. This was definitely a day of smiles.
Riding Lesson Tuesday
The next day I had a riding lesson with Heather so tacked up and headed into the indoor school and had another great walk and trot riding session. As Riley hasn’t had much schooling, the intention is to give him a good basic grounding. During my lesson Heather advised that I now needed a new saddle as the one I had was no longer fitting Riley properly as he had started to change shape. She suggested I speak to the tack shop next door. They had just one saddle that they thought might have been suitable so the plan was to trial the saddle in a riding lesson the next day.
So, on Wednesday morning I headed off to the stables with the trial saddle and tacked Riley up. Then we headed into our lesson. Riley spooked at the C end of the school a few times and I wasn’t sure why. Later that day the Equine Dentist visited the yard and Riley had his teeth checked and floated (filed). I did hear later that day that he wasn’t well behaved.
Luckily, the Thursday morning weather was lovely so I was able to tie him up outside and give him a good grooming session. He stood nicely and picked up his feet without any arguments.
So Much To Do : So Little Time
Friday morning wasn’t so successful. He didn’t want to stand still for grooming nor did he want to have his feet picked up. The plan was to lunge him afterwards and so I headed into the indoor school unfortunately I ran out of time before lessons started so only managed 5 minutes.
Charlotte Du Jardin : A Masterclass
As the yard is always busy on a Saturday I have decided this will probably be Riley’s day off. I headed to the stables to muck out and turn out although it was a race against time as I was eager to get on the road to see Charlotte Du Jardin in her “Through the Levels” Masterclass and needed to leave the stables early. I knew I wouldn’t be back in time to bring Riley in from the field so I asked a member of staff to do it for me. On the way home I called into the yard to check Riley and give him a goodnight kiss and cuddle. After watching Charlotte and some of the amazing horses at the masterclass, I was fired up to get to work with Riley
By the time I turned him out we were best friends again.
On Sunday, I gave Riley a quick groom because I had to groom inside our barn where he is never as relaxed or still as he is when tied up outdoors. Because I didn’t have a suitable saddle, I decided to lunge. This wasn’t successful as he was constantly trying to evade the lunge and block me which I found very difficult and there were tears. All I really wanted to do was to take him back to the stable and was questioning my ownership of him. In the end I walked him in hand down the lane by the riding school and he was as good as gold. By the time I turned him out we were best friends again.
I am constantly reminded that horse ownership can be both rewarding and challenging and know that I am going to be tested to my limit, however I will also have some of the most wonderful times because of Riley.