Riley is ready to move forward in ways that I am not
I have had many challenges with Riley since I have owned him. Some of those have been him although many of them have been due to my own mindset.
I have never been a confident horse rider and over the years have taken breaks from horse riding which left me having to start over again.
Riley is ready to move forward in ways that I am not and I have been left feeling that I am holding him back which has been frustrating and upsetting and slowly but surely my confidence has been eroding.
I was the first person ever to canter Riley, something that I am grateful for
I was the first person ever to canter Riley, something that I am grateful for. For the next few lessons afterwards, I was ready to push him on although, along the way I lost my confidence and my ability to even try. I am still unsure about how that happened. Perhaps it was that he is very unbalanced and doesn’t canter straight away when asked because he doesn’t know the aids yet. Instead, he just trots faster and faster. Maybe it was because I wasn’t cantering regularly. When I did attempt to canter, I was too scared to let him go and was asking him with my legs but saying ‘no’ with the reins. I knew that I was confusing him, so I stopped trying at all as I didn’t want to confuse him further.
I read something recently that said horses don’t worry about whether they are moving forwards, or they are not doing piaffe, or they didn’t do a perfect twenty metre circle, so why should we? Yet we do. Perhaps we should remind ourselves that there isn’t any need to rush.
The instructor riding him talked about him moving on to jumping.
I had started to feel as though I was in a rut and didn’t know how to move forward. I was having lessons on Riley and he was being ridden by one of the instructors on the yard at least once a fortnight if not weekly. Riley has been cantering intermittently and the instructor riding him talked about him moving on to jumping. Whilst I wanted to be able to jump him, I felt hopeless knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to if I couldn’t start cantering.
One of them was a Centre 10 coach
So, it was time to regroup and think how best to move forward, particularly as most of the issues were in my mind. I searched on the internet for local riding instructors who could help with my nervousness, and noticed that one of them was a Centre 10 coach. I had been on a confidence lecture of theirs in 2019 and thought perhaps a riding instructor who would also be able to help me with my mindset would be beneficial.
I decided to act decisively and contacted Emma Stant. I told her that I was having cantering issues with my green pony and we made an appointment for the Monday. The first lesson was more of an assessment for where Riley and I were up to and she watched me ride him whilst giving me a few pointers.
I must admit this did give me a new sense of purpose and whereas in the last few weeks, I have on occasions avoided riding, I was really looking forward to going to the yard and riding Riley on Tuesday.
I guess we were both happy
It was wonderful to feel as though we now had a way to progress and I went through the rest of the week with a newfound positivity. Riley of course went through the week eating at every opportunity and trying to grab any stray strands of hay lying on the floor. So, I guess we were both happy.