Monday morning dawned and I headed out to the stables to give Riley a day off. He probably doesn’t appreciate that out of the two of us he gets the better end of our relationship, especially when I ask him to work, but whilst he is happily munching grass I still have his stable to muck out and his haynet to fill. Although I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Tuesday morning was horse riding lesson Tuesday although this week came with a twist as we didn’t ride and had a lungeing lesson instead. I don’t particularly enjoy lungeing as I am all fingers and thumbs and Riley isn’t always easy.
Riley brought me down to earth with a bump
The very first time I lunged was with a horse that just trotted around and made me believe I was a natural. Then there’s Riley who brought me back down to earth with a bump.
I know more practice is needed for us both and so a lesson was helpful and as well as some success there were a few mishaps and I did manage to drop my lunge whip, oops!
In the afternoon we had our class lesson and that was, as always, fun. As much as I try to ride to the best of my ability there, I can also relax although there is always lots to do and think about. We rode indoors and one of the school horses was returning to work and was certainly lively. This unfortunately didn’t have a knock-on effect on Riley although I probably wouldn’t have wanted him that forward.
Hats off to Jenny
On Wednesday afternoon Jenny schooled him and I stood in the rain watching. It is helpful to watch him from the ground and lovely to see him in action. The manege was remarkably busy so there were limited cantering opportunities but hats off to Jenny as she cantered him on a circle, and I knew just how much skill that involved.
Thursday morning, I schooled although didn’t attempt canter as my confidence for pushing him forward seems to have gone and so avoided it altogether.
Unexpected things often work out better
Friday morning I was schooling Riley in the manege when Heather, one of the instructors walked towards me and announced that it was time for my lesson which came as a complete surprise as I hadn’t realised that I was booked for one. The unexpected things often work out better than the planned ones as we had a brilliant lesson working on leg yields and sitting trot. We finished with a hack down the lane and Riley was perfect even when we had to pass a small lorry.
Saturday was another schooling session and although I haven’t been attempting canter, we are both improving daily, and it is something that I need to keep reminding myself.
Riley has to choose between me and food
Whilst I have been riding Riley most days it dawned on me that I hadn’t done any groundwork with him since the early days of owning him. So, I decided that Sunday would be the day to rectify that and we had a brief session along with some carrot stretches. I also let him loose in the manege to see if he would follow me round, which he did for a while until he realised that he could access the grass in the field that is next to the manege so concentration was lost. I know only too well that when Riley has to choose between me and food his stomach is always going to win.