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I have at times wanted to throw my hands up in the air

On Monday morning as I headed to the stables, I decided to lunge Riley as Becky my instructor had said it was something that I needed to do with Riley to help establish his canter.
Lungeing Riley has proved challenging however a fresh approach to my own thoughts are beginning to encourage both me and Riley
I am not yet proficient when it comes to lungeing but I was pleased with how well it went even though I didn’t manage to get Riley to canter.  I have found in the past that when Riley doesn’t lunge well, I get very frustrated and I have at times wanted to throw my hands up in the air and march Riley back to his stable. I have often taken things personally particularly if I have seen him lunge or do something for someone else and not me, and wondering why he wasn’t performing that way for me, and why he was choosing to misbehave for me when in my mind he knew what was being asked.

 

I have reflected on this thinking and changed the way I view things

Recently I have reflected on this thinking and changed the way I view things. So, if Riley isn’t doing what I am asking then I must not be asking properly.  Riley, like most horses, knows who isn’t going to push him hard, and probably has had the size of me in the past, however upon reflection my conclusion was that I needed to work out how to ask him in a way that results in him doing for me, what he may have done for someone else.  Lungeing has been an example of this.
All smiles after a decent lunge schooling session
I am not sure if this newfound thinking helped with the lungeing, but I certainly felt more confident and enjoyed it more than usual.

He must have felt as if all his birthdays had come at once

Tuesday morning came and I turned Riley out as I had a lesson on another riding school horse to help bring back my canter confidence.  He must have felt as if all his birthdays had come at once with no work for him on a Tuesday morning. Later that day however, I brought Riley in for our class lesson.  We did manage a brief canter or two and it is always lovely as the other riders in the class always cheer us on. It’s a great class with amazing atmosphere and Riley and I both enjoy it. Following the canter success of Tuesday evening, I had high hopes for more canter success during our schooling session on Wednesday. My hopes were of course dashed as all we managed was our amazingly fast trot.

Riley’s canter makes me proud

Life of Riley image
Following the canter success of Tuesday evening, I had high hopes for more canter success during our schooling session on Wednesday. My hopes were of course dashed as all we managed was our amazingly fast trot.
The following day however, Riley did lots of cantering. Unfortunately, not with me riding as Jenny one of the instructors schooled him. It’s great to watch her ride Riley and I was in awe of how many times she cantered round the indoor school. I was so proud of him as he showed off his paces and gave canter when asked. On Friday and Saturday, I turned Riley out without riding, so he had two days off.  I once again had a lesson on a riding school horse and had a successful canter and felt one step closer to restoring a little bit of confidence.

We are progressing

Sunday morning arrived and I turned him out, and then rode him later in the day.  We stayed in walk and trot as I didn’t feel quite ready to try the canter.  I was still happy as he had cantered that week and whilst I am looking forward to the day canter comes easy for us as a team, I am mindful of the progress he is making everyday and never forget how far we have already come.
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Sharon Howe

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