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Riley’s shape has changed dramatically

Just about to get Riley ready for one of his many appointments this week.
Often, Riley has more appointments in the diary than I do. The first one this week was the saddle fitter appointment with the ever-helpful Sarah from Crewe Saddlery.  Sarah originally fitted his new saddle last year, and noted that he was more much more muscular now and not at all the overweight pony he once was. To ensure the best possible fit, Sarah flocked his saddle and widened the gullet. I had hoped, that along with the improvement in Riley’s physique, Sarah would be able to observe a notable difference in our ridden work, however for the life of me I couldn’t seem to keep him in a straight line or steer him during my time riding Riley whilst assessing the altered saddle. I seemed to have lost all ability to ride. Despite this, after making the required alterations, Sarah declared that the saddle was now a much better fit and duly satisfied, bade us farewell until next time.

A little guilt trip

Once Sarah had finished the saddle fitting, and as I was already on board, I decided to take Riley for a gentle hack around the farm ride. There was part of me which felt a little guilty about this as I knew that we were having a lesson later that day. Whilst it wasn’t too much work for Riley, it did cross my mind that he wasn’t used to being saddled up twice in one day and so I took a little guilt trip. During my lesson with Emma later in the day, I mentioned that the saddle had been adjusted and that I hadn’t been able to ride at all. Happily, with the help of her intuitive instructions, we were more successful this time around and had a most enjoyable session.

There’s hope for me yet.

Riley and I hacking out. I love these times and find them very relaxing.
On Wednesday, I had another lesson followed by a mad dash to my first Equi Pilates class. The class was on another part of the yard and was only a couple of minutes away from Riley’s stable however there wasn’t much time between my lesson and the class hence the rush. I am realising that riding alone isn’t enough. I need to work on my core strength and my leg strength and am formulating an exercise schedule to resolve this. I enjoyed the class very much although it certainly was a reminder and confirmed what I already knew: that my muscles need more strength and lengthening.

The next time I had a lesson, I was pleased that Emma mentioned my position had improved after just one Pilates session. There’s hope for me yet.

Sam the farrier

Riley looking rather tired after a lesson
Riley’s next appointment was with Sam the farrier who fitted new shoes. I noticed that they weren’t as shiny as Riley’s last pair so asked Sam if they were a different brand. He explained that they were indeed a different brand this time although only for supply reasons and assured me that they would shine up with wear. I think that he thought I wanted another sparkly pair, however I set the record straight and explained that I had noticed the difference in colour and wasn’t worried that they weren’t gleaming.

It’s something I will treasure forever

I asked Sam if I could keep the shoes he took off, as they were Riley’s first pair and I wanted to use them on one of our Mulberry Tree at Home Horseshoe Handle Trays. I took the shoes home afterwards and can’t wait until they have been cleaned up and are adorning a tray. I will post an image once it’s complete. I know it’s something I will treasure forever.

A lazy day

We are so lucky to have a fabulous farm ride and great hacking on the farm estate.
Riley had an unplanned day off on Saturday. Whilst I don’t consider myself to be a fair-weather rider, it absolutely bucketed down with rain all morning long, so reluctantly, I decided that the best course of action would be to leave Riley munching his haynet which I knew he wouldn’t mind. Afterwards, I headed home for a lazy morning spent drinking coffee and reading Isabell Werth’s book; Four Legs Move My Soul. It’s a jolly good read and I thoroughly enjoyed my morning. I’m quite sure that Riley enjoyed his too.
The life of Riley blog feature image
Riley on a test drive with his new shoes
Not wanting Riley to have two days off, on Sunday we went for a hack and whilst I normally stay in walk during many of our hacks, I did some parts of the ride in trot as I thought the extra practice outdoors would be good for me. Overall, a very satisfying week with many positives to take from it.

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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