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Riley the wonder pony

You could begin to wonder if you would ever make it to an intro test let alone any higher levels.

Riley in his stable
I think Riley has forgotten what it’s like to do any work.
How long can one cut take to heal?  Apparently too long, when you are keen to get back on board and move forward with your dressage journey. One could begin to wonder if you would ever make it to an intro test let alone any higher levels.

This usually happens when I begin to relax

As much as I had been enjoying the-in hand walks with Riley, I was looking forward to doing something different and hack out with me riding rather than walking him on a lead rope.  He does like to keep me entertained (and on my toes) as he is always on the lookout for the perfect moment to have a cheeky nibble on the grass.  It’s as if he knows just the right moment when I have taken the eye off the ball (him!). This usually happens when I begin to relax and take in the breath-taking scenery and am looking at things through rose-tinted glasses under the misapprehension that Riley is going to be on his best behaviour and not try and have a little snack.

 

Saturday however was very eventful

Riley and Sharon enjoying an in-hand walk
Riley and I enjoying a stroll around the farm-ride. You can see the smile on my face. I love this time spent with Riley
Because of the cut, Riley had a day off during the week which wasn’t planned and the rest of the days I did the in-hand farm ride in an attempt to keep him in some semblance of shape until he is able to get back into work.  Most days were fairly uneventful as he knows the routes very well and he isn’t usually troubled by much. Saturday however was very eventful.  We had only been on the route for about ten minutes when Riley stuck his head up high; higher than he usually does when he spots something and was definitely bothered by something somewhere, although at that point I couldn’t see what the problem was.

Ahead, I caught sight of the something he was unhappy with

We walked on rather reluctantly with his head still in the air, and I could tell he was apprehensive.  He took a few steps more, although he wasn’t at all happy. Ahead, I caught sight of the something he was unhappy with however I wasn’t able to see it properly. He began spinning around and dancing, which meant that I couldn’t focus on what was offending his senses, although it did look like a vehicle. After speaking to another livery on the yard, she suggested it may have been the beekeeper as they had passed him earlier.

I wasn’t sure what he would do next

cute pony
He’s such a cute, yet cheeky chap!
Now normally, I don’t like to turn him away from something that bothers him. This time however, I wasn’t sure what he would do next, and I was on my own with him in hand.  As we hadn’t yet reached the problem, I decided to turn him around to face the way we had come from and walk him away to calm down.  I was concerned that this course of action would result in him being worried about that part of the farm ride the next time we did it. With this in mind, I decided to turn him around again and head back towards where he had spooked, hoping that the problem had gone away. Riley was understandably hesitant, however I did manage to keep him moving forwards and luckily, as anticipated, the scary thing was no longer there.

Maybe next week?

I had planned to walk him on further, but one of the houses that backs onto the field was burning something and he was looking at the smoke, so I decided to quit whilst I was ahead and head back. We ended the week in the same way that we started it, wondering when the cut was going to heal and when we could saddle up. Maybe next week?

If you enjoyed reading this. You can read more instalments of the life of Riley here
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Sharon Howe

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