With Riley having spent last week recovering from injury, I decided that this week I would get him back into work although as often happens, things don’t always go to plan.
So, I headed off to the stables on Monday to tack him up and ride him for the first time in a week. I must admit that I felt extremely apprehensive and so decided not to put any pressure on myself but just do whatever felt comfortable for me, even if that meant we only stayed in walk.
Once on his back however, I was surprised at how relaxed and natural it felt. It was as though we hadn’t had any time off at all so instead of staying in walk we were very quickly into trot and there was a moment when I even thought about the dreaded canter. In the end I decided against it and told myself that he had been off work so I should break him back in gently although deep down I know that I was giving myself a perfect excuse.
On Tuesday morning I had expected to have a riding lesson, however for some reason or other, it wasn’t booked in, and so instead I decided to give Riley a schooling session in the indoor school. I think after the success of the previous day I thought we would carry on from where we left off, but Riley was argumentative and for the first five minutes I felt negative and didn’t ride well. I don’t know what prompted the change of heart, however I thought that I would ignore the antics and give him plenty to think about. Happily, this prompted a turnaround, not so much in Riley’s attitude but certainly mine.
Wednesday morning came and we had another schooling session. Again, only in walk and trot and I was conscious that I was mentally avoiding canter. Afterwards I turned him out for an hour and then brought him back in for the farrier’s appointment. He was good for the farrier and all was fine so afterwards I took Riley straight back to the field as I like him to have as much time in the field as he possibly can.
He had been kicked in the field and appeared stiff
When I went to bring him in from the field on Thursday evening, he walked towards me and I noticed that he was walking awkwardly. When we reached the yard, I asked the yard manager to look at him as I trotted him up. After the trot-up she said that it looked as though he had been kicked in the field and appeared stiff and that we should have another look in the morning.
Another restful day for Riley
The plan on Friday had been for Jenny to school him but after another trot up in the morning, it was clear that wasn’t going to be possible as he was still very stiff. Jenny suggested I hack him up the lane at the back of the school which would help stretch his legs. We enjoyed the hack and then I turned him out for another restful day.
Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that bring the greatest happiness
Because he was still feeling a bit stiff on Saturday and Sunday, he spent the weekend enjoying a couple of lazy days in the field however when I went to bring him in from the field he did manage to both shock me and put a smile on my face. He was at the bottom of the field as he often is and instead of making me walk to catch him as he normally does when he is that far away, he walked-up to greet me. This gave me a feeling of pride and joy, and I was reminded that sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that bring the greatest happiness.
You can catch up on the life of Riley from the very beginning here