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I was surprised when she arrived at Riley’s stable

Riley has a very cheeky character and knows how to play up to any attention
Riley and I had an unexpected visitor this week. Someone who neither of us had met before.

Monday is normally the day that Emma schools Riley so I was surprised when she arrived at Riley’s stable with a young girl called Charlotte. To be fair to Emma, she had mentioned some weeks ago that at some point she was going to ask Charlotte to come to the yard to do some jumping with Riley as it would be a change for him. Emma knew that I wasn’t ready and didn’t yet have the confidence to sit on Riley whilst he flew like a bird over the poles.

A less than healthy regard for her own personal safety

The courageous Charlotte mounted and warmed Riley up whilst familiarising herself with him. Emma was to guide the lesson and set up a small jump to begin with. Charlotte boldly cantered Riley to the pole and nonchalantly popped him over it perfectly. She had a few more goes and each time Riley duly popped over the little jump as if it weren’t even there.

I could see his brain whirring

Riley in typical greedy fashion, eating as much as he can prior to a change of field
Before the session started, Emma had warned Charlotte that Riley was a typical cheeky Welsh pony. Now although Charlotte was making it look simple, each time she expertly guided him to the jump, I could see Riley’s  brain whirring as though to work out if he could avoid the additional effort of jumping before realising that there was no escape and so popping over.

Rather than gliding over like Pegasus, Riley hesitated

With a number of successful jumps in hand and confidence growing all around, Emma raised the height of the pole. Charlotte aimed Riley effortlessly to the newly raised pole, however rather than gliding over like Pegasus, Riley hesitated briefly prior to crashing straight through it. To avoid any further mishap, she lowered the jump for the final few attempts.

Riley clearly doesn’t harbour any show jumping aspirations

A day of rest. He loves to relax. Sometimes too much, especially when I am trying to warm him up ready for work
The consensus was that Riley clearly doesn’t harbour any show jumping aspirations whatsoever, which came as relief to me since our future together is in dressage with jumping little poles as a fun highlight so that we can venture out to farm rides for a bit of variety.

A little off-colour

After all that excitement, Riley had a fairly relaxed week. We enjoyed a lesson together on Thursday and had another one planned for Friday; I say planned as it had to be aborted when we realised that Riley was a little off-colour. He had been wormed the day before and had also been moved to a different turnout field on the farm so I think the combination of the wormer and his lack of self- control in the face of lots of lovely new green grass left him with an unsettled tummy.
I wouldn’t change him for the world though!

I gave him the following day off with the intention of hacking on Sunday. Whilst I am not normally a fair-weather rider, the combination of rain, howling winds and knowing that he had been off-colour made me decide against it and instead Riley enjoyed an extra day of rest.

If you enjoyed reading this, you can catch up on all of the earlier instalments of the life of Riley here        
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Sharon Howe

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