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Horse and rider hacking out on a country lane

“Riding Lesson Tuesday” didn’t go quite to plan this week

I’m still finding my feet when it comes to lungeing. Riley on the other hand knows exactly where the grass around the edge of the manege and enjoys it immensely
This week, on Monday morning, I headed off to the stables for another week in ‘The Life of Riley’.  It started off in his favourite manner with him being turned out for a day in the field.  After taking off his head collar I stood at the gate and enjoyed some time just watching him for a while. Tuesday morning, I arrived at the stables looking forward to our usual horse-riding lesson although things didn’t quite go to plan.  I am not sure what happened but when I arrived at the stables it came to light that my lesson wasn’t booked in. So Riley was groomed and ready with nowhere to go, so I decided to lunge him instead as we were booked in for our group lesson later that day. I am still finding my feet when it comes to lungeing so at one point Riley ended up next to the manege fence in a very slow walk and he spotted the grass that grows on the edge and swooped in for a quick snack before I could stop him. Our class lesson was fun, and we did trotting poles and managed a couple of canters.  I was really pleased that on his good rein he went into canter quickly instead of his quick fast trot.  On the other rein we got into canter by following one of the other horses which was speedy, and Riley seemed to want to keep up.

He galloped off in the field and got caught up in his lead rope

Horse and rider hacking out on a country lane
Riley and I enjoying a relaxing hack
The next day I tried canter again although wasn’t successful, so we went for a short hack down the lane.  Although he did manage to pick up speed later that day when I brought him in from the field and as we were almost by the gate a number of horses galloped up from the bottom of the field and Riley momentarily joined in and I lost my lead rope.  He did stop after a few steps mainly due to his lead rope becoming trapped under his foot so after I retrieved him, we headed off to the stables.

Riley turns silver into gold

On Thursday we had a schooling session in the morning and then later in the day I bought Riley in for the first session of the BHS Silver challenge award.  He seemed a little reluctant when we got to the door of the indoor school and needed some gentle persuasion.  After that he was as good as gold. Friday morning, he had a schooling session with Jenny one of the instructors on the yard who has ridden him a few times.  She cantered him a few times and we could both see the improvement in him.
Feeling pleased after getting canter during a schooling session

Riley encounters his first cows.

Saturday morning when I turned Riley out, he bucked and cantered down the field and it was a joy to watch.   In one of the fields that adjoins his there were a few cows that aren’t usually there, and it was amusing to see him look at them as he went past entirely unsure how he felt about them.  He kept trotting around that area and stopping, never getting too close, standing by the other horses in the field who weren’t taking any notice.  I stayed watching with interest and thinking now that’s a nice trot I hope I get that when I school next. As I turned out the next day I noticed that the cows were no longer there so he things were back to normal and he sauntered into the field at his usual walk and put his head down to eat.
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Sharon Howe

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