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Our bond is growing daily

Last Monday morning I headed to the stables as excited as ever to see Riley and tack him up for a schooling session.  I am still not attempting to canter when I am riding him on my own and deep down, I know that this really needs to change for his progression.
Hacking along the lane behind the riding school is a great safe environment to practice for next week’s BHS Ride Safe exam
Our bond is growing daily and he is such a joy to handle on the ground and after always wanting to buy a horse with manners I now have one, except for the odd day when he feels like being a bit cheeky. When I went to bring him in from the field that evening he saw me and walked over to me and I was absolutely delighted as that was two nights on the run and I was hopeful that this was the sign of things to come, but little did I know that for the rest of the walk I would be back to walking down the field to catch him.

In celebration we ended our session with a hack down the lane.

On Tuesday we had a lesson with Jenny and although he didn’t initially seem too keen, he worked hard at some did pole work and we even had a canter and managed the whole length of the school.  In celebration we ended our session with a hack down the lane.

I am slowly becoming less clumsy and Riley is behaving

Riley and I are both improving our lungeing skills although he tells me when he has had enough….
As Riley and I were going to be in a practice session for the BHS Ride Safe on Thursday evening, I decided to lunge him in the morning and overall, we worked well together.  I am slowly becoming less clumsy and he is behaving, although he does tend to let you know when he has had enough and once he has reached that point he continually turns in to block and despite my best efforts I still haven’t succeeded in cantering him on the lunge. On Friday morning whilst grooming Riley, one of the instructors reminded me that I had a lesson which was a surprise to me since I hadn’t booked one. When I explained this, they offered to cancel it.  My initial reaction was “yes please” as I wasn’t prepared, however two minutes after declining I changed my mind and decided a lesson would be of benefit to both Riley and me.
It might not be pretty but it’s canter and right now it feels like a win so I’ll take that…
Our lesson was with Becky and it ended up being a great lesson, perhaps the impromptu method helped but I thoroughly enjoyed the half hour trotting round working on outline and we even managed a canter.

We created a mock-up road for extra practice for the BHS Ride Safe exam

On Sunday we set out some poles in the manege and created a mock-up road for extra practice for the BHS Ride Safe exam. (read next week’s instalment to see how it goes)  I must admit the poles can be confusing and you really must concentrate to think about which side of the “pretend” road you are on.  We finished off with a hack down the lane which is much more realistic environment to practice signals and roadwork. All in all, a super week for Riley in terms of experience and behaviour.
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Sharon Howe

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